CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 41 . . . . June 22, 2018
Early readers will rejoice at this accessible retelling of the Canadian classic, Anne of Green Gables. Intending to adopt an orphan boy, siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert instead welcome young Anne Shirley. The first in a series, this particular book focuses on how Anne arrives and settles in at Green Gables. Initially, she is not so readily accepted by Marilla, and interactions with neighbours prove to be somewhat problematic. But Anne's feisty nature shines through, and the siblings eventually accept her as their new child.
The author successfully conveys the original story and captures the sentiment of the time with the language used by the characters. It is a fresh take on a text that is over one hundred years old. Although many children may not relate to the idea of orphanages, they will certainly be aware of adoption and issues of belonging, the meaning of the family unit, and adapting to novel or unknown circumstances.
The text, itself, is divided into eight brief chapters. Each chapter in Anne Arrives is short, consisting of approximately two to four pages of text, interspersed with pictures. Of special note is the detailed illustrative work that successfully conveys the emotional underpinnings alluded to – or expressly communicated – in the text. Anne's facial expressions alone are a delight to behold. The colours employed by the artist are exquisitely chosen, whether to convey a sunset merging violet with orange hues or detailed wallpaper in subtle shades of blue. The essence of early twentieth century interior design, architecture, textiles, and fashion are captured in this feast for the eyes. All young readers, libraries, and sentimental book lovers will want this particular addition to the various retellings of the story of Anne of Green Gables on their shelves.
Roxy Garstad is the Collections Librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.
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