I know I read this as a kid, but I really didn't remember much of it, except that they had a cupola on their house. I was kinda obsessed with cupolas as a kid, mostly thanks to the Samantha books from American Girl. Truth be told, I'd still like one.
Anyway, this is an utterly charming book. I chose it for my 3rd-6th graders to read for our homeschool co-op this month, so of course, I had to reread it myself. And I'm so happy I did. I read one of the later Melendy books, Spiderweb for Two, a few years ago, and found it delightful too.
In this one, Mr. Melendy sells their home in the city and moves his four children, their housekeeper Cuffy, and the furnace man Willy out to a great big house in the countryside. It has three actual stories and a cupola on top to be the fourth story, and it is full of surprises and secrets and joy.
The four kids spend the book having all sorts of adventures. This takes place during WWII, and they spend a good deal of time and energy thinking up ways to earn money to buy war stamps and war bonds. They put on a play, one person finds a treasure, two of them get jobs... this is a slice-of-life story at its finest. And I love that sort of book that just has people living out their ordinary lives in an interesting way.
Particularly Good Bits:
None of them wanted to leave their house. None of them, that is, except seven-year-old Oliver who always greeted the future as a friend and never gave a hang about anything in the past (p. 6).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G. Good, clean, wholesome fun.
This is my 27th book read and reviewed for my second time around with the Classics Club.