Patricia's Reviews > The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
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's review
Apr 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites
Read in March, 2011 , read count: 2

I LOVED this book! It made me laugh out loud several times, including when I first started reading it at Chorale rehearsal! I read it again, reading it aloud to my children, who also loved it. I loved explaining all of the literary references. I loved the way it poked fun at the Series of Unfortunate Events series, and I loved the glossary at the back. My favorites? The distasteful mother who knits for the cat and cooks badly; Timothy Anthony Malchy Willoughby and his rules; the Reprehensible Travel Agency and the parents' horrifying adventures and their postcards; the nanny, the melancholy tycoon (who nearly died of grief), and Baby Ruth; the Melanoff boy and his atrocious German; the happy ending for this old-fashioned story.

In the glossary it has the following words (which Emma now uses regularly): Acquisition ("If your dad is a stockbroker or a lawyer, ask him what "mergers and acquisitions" means. Fifty points if you understand his answer."); Affable ("means good-natured and friendly. There are whole groups of people who are known for being affable. Cheerleaders, for example. Or Mormon missionaries."); Alabaster; Auspicious; Beastly; Bilious; Confectionary; Conspiracy; Contemplating; Cryptic; Despicable; Diabolical ("means extremely cruel or evil. The French word for it is diabolique. There is a French movie called Diabolique that I saw more than fifty years ago, and it is still the scariest movie I have ever seen." --This totally makes me think of Gary London!); Expostulation; Fortuitous; Glossary; Glutinous; Heinous; Ignominious (this is Emma's favorite word right now!); Insignificant; Irascible; Lugubrious; Malevolent; Melancholy; Meticulous; Nefarious; Obfuscate; Oblivious; Obsequious; Obstruction; Odious; Pathetic; Regrettable; Reprehensible; Surreptitious; Tycoon; Unkempt; Villainous; Winsome.

Finally, these are the books in the bibliography: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Anne of Green Gables; The Bobbsey Twins and Baby May; A Christmas Carol; Heidi; James and the Giant Peach; Jane Eyre; Little Women; Mary Poppins; Pollyanna; Ragged Dick; The Secret Garden; and Toby Tyler, or, Ten Weeks With the Circus. I've read most of them. Time to put the rest on my "to-read" list!

I HIGHLY recommend this fun book!
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