Meet the Peterkins, a lovable crew with a notable lack of common sense. These comic tales chronicle the family's roundabout attempts to solve simple, everyday problems. Cheerful and energetic, the close-knit family of eight resides in a village near Boston. They play their piano from the front porch because the movers left it with the keyboard facing the parlor window, and they're ready to raise the ceiling to make way for a towering Christmas tree. Only the timely intervention of "the wise old lady from Philadelphia" keeps them from acting on their more elaborate madcap schemes.
Author Lucretia Hale, sister to writer and cleric Edward Everett Hale, helped break new ground in children's literature by writing stories to amuse young people rather than instruct or uplift them. These tales first appeared in 1867 in a popular children's magazine of the era, and in the course of a decade, the Peterkins became a household word. "The years pass them along to every new generation," noted Harper's Bazaar, "with the hint that human nature is the same everywhere and all the time." Hailed by The New York Times as "a masterpiece," and graced with 153 delightful black-and-white illustrations, this collection offers a glimpse of 19th-century New England life that charms readers of all ages.
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