Jeanne Birdsall has a talent for nailing a child's perspective exactly, and she hits the spot with each of the four Penderwick sisters, from young Batty through responsible Rosalind. Most of the attention in the third book about their family, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, goes to second oldest Skye, who reluctantly assumes the job of responsible older sister so Rosalind can have a relaxing vacation with a friend while their parents trot off on a delayed honeymoon. A kindly aunt takes the remaining three and their friend Jeffrey to a small cottage in Maine (new state! Yay!) where they make new friends, collect golf balls, and react to one of the giant coincidences that can only happen in children's books of this genre.
I'm torn about the coincidence; it pulled me out of the book a bit but on the other hand it was so important to the characters and their happiness that I want to be in a universe where it would happen. I love how the sisters take care of each other, even when arguing or getting frustrated with each other. I liked the look at love and relationships as seen through Jane's first crush; and I liked the friendship between the youngsters Batty and Mercedes. The dialogue between them reminded me of listening to my five years olds when they couldn't see me. I'll offer this book to my son, but I think the shadow art cover will make it a hard sale.