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Swiss Family Robinson

by Johann David Wyss

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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-- It goes without saying that, in the process of condensing and rewriting these books down to a fourth-grade reading level, most of the distinguished aspects of the works--writing style, language, atmosphere, characterization--have been sacrificed for a simple, not to say simplistic, master-plots approach that conveys the incidents but fails to impart the justification for their continuing endurance in the canon of juvenile literature. The books are illustrated with some attention paid to the sense of the plots and characters. For those who persist in the fallacy that knowing what the so-called "classics" of children's literature are about is a satisfactory substitution for actually experiencing them by reading the original, this series is acceptable. For the rest of us, it's as if someone's painted a guppy white and called it Moby Dick. --Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
Wyss's timeless classic is about an industrious Swiss family that miraculously survives shipwreck and builds paradise on an island populated by an impossibly rich array of plants and animals. Narrator McGowan's crisp British voice nicely captures the cultivated, energetic father; the four sons all sound alike. Yet the listener isn't deterred. McGowan's excitement is so infectious that the tale hurries on. All four of my children (ages 5-13) enjoyed the presentation; so did I. All collections should have some version of Swiss Family Robinson, and this is a good one. D.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Book Description
Shipwrecked! They must find a way to survive and trust in God to protect them on a wild island in the middle of nowhere.

Language Notes
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

Card catalog description
When a Swiss couple and their four sons are shipwrecked on an isolated island, they adapt to their "New Switzerland" using many imaginative methods of farming and animal taming.

From the Publisher
8 1.5-hour cassettes

Inside Flap Copy
"For many days we had been tempest-tossed . . .the raging storm increased in fury on the seventh day all hope was lost."  From these dire opening lines, a delightful story of adventure begins.  One family will emerge alive from this terrible storm: the Robinson's -- a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, plus two dogs and a shipload of livestock, hens, pigeons and geese!  Inspired by Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Cruesoe," this heartwarming tale portrays a family's struggle to create a new life for themselves on a strange and fantastic tropical island.  There each boy must learn to control his own nature -- such as Ernest's bookishness and Fritz's hot temper -- as their adventures lead to amazing discoveries, danger, and tantalizing surprises, including a puzzling message tied to an albatross's leg.  But it is the authenticity of the boys' behavior, the ingenuity of the family, and the natural wonders of this exotic land that have made The Swiss Family Robinson, first published in 1812-1813, one of the world's best-loved and most enduring stories of shipwreck and survival.

From the Paperback edition.



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