CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 18. . . .May 1, 2009
Doubleday has astutely chosen this centennial year of the publication of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables to put out The Green Gables Collection featuring the first three books in the Anne series. Interest in the author appears to be running at an all-time high, with a new biography about to be published, as well as the tragic revelations about Lucy Maud's life and death making headlines in the Globe and Mail.
The Green Gables Collection is a 761 page paperback book containing Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island. There are no forwards, no information on the author; indeed, there is no extraneous matter at all in the contents of the volume. The book is labeled as a 100th Anniversary Edition, and its cover image features a pastel painting from 1898 done by Lucien Levy-Dhurmer, a French symbolist artist. The painting, done in vivid reds and oranges, captures the head of a young girl with her hair blowing around her face. The dreamy look, the wild red hair and the perfect nose make it an inspired choice to grace the cover of The Green Gables Collection. Anne enthusiasts (as well as first-time readers of her story) should have no trouble imagining the feisty heroine without her trademark braids.
Aside from being somewhat unwieldy, this volume is not the one to take up into the apple tree for an uninterrupted read, but it would make a great gift for the 10 to 14-year-old reader who has already enjoyed Anne of Green Gables. For a young person who has not had the joy of being introduced to the heroine that Mark Twain called "The dearest and most moving and delightful child of fiction since the immortal Alice," The Green Gables Collection is likely to be too thick to inspire her to begin reading. There is an unfortunate tendency for young readers to be negatively influenced by the size of the book that is being recommended to them (although, on the other hand, they tend to be positively influenced by the existence of a series).
A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.