Planes and automobiles today as I flew into St. Louis and drive from there to beautiful Springfield for the Illinois Reading Conference that begins tomorrow morning at 7 am. I read the new Lois Lowry on the flight. THE WILLOUGHBYS is a wonderful romp about four children whose parents would rather they did not exist. The children share similar sentiments about their parents, too. In a sort of snide Lemony Snicketish meets Gorey meets Twain meets Lois Lowry. Still with me? Tim, Jane, A and B are deserted by their parents and left in the care of the odious nanny. Nanny turns out to be a lovely person, thankfully, who rescues the orphans (the scene of their parents meeting their maker is wonderfully funny and absurd) and helps all of them find a family.
Though the book is aimed at younger readers, it will work well in classrooms dealing with humor and satire and irony nicely. Lowry has drawn the illustrations to accompany the chapter headings. Along with the snarky language they add a nice touch of humor, too. This is a quick and enjoyable read, perfect to offer to those kids who cut their teeth with THE SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS.