For my birthday this year my sister sent me a new series of children's books--The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. What a charming series of books this is. The books tell the story of four sisters who have very different personalities but manage to have great adventures together. Rosalind is the oldest and surrogate mother to the others (their mother died of cancer weeks after the birth of the youngest sister). Skye is the mathematician who is embarrassed by the overly imaginative tendencies of some of her sisters. Jane is the writer who loves attics and is constantly writing Sabrina Starr adventure stories. Bitty is the youngest who wears butterfly wings and hides behind her family members. Though she is named after her mother (Elizabeth is Bitty's legal name), she has no memories of her mother and loves when Rosalind tells her stories about their mother.
While these stories are set in the present day, they read like a story from a bygone time. Jeanne Birdsall readily admits to being influenced by classic children's authors such as Louisa May Alcott and Noel Streatfeild. The consensus of most reviewers is that these books are charmingly old-fashion. I highly recommend the series and look forward to the day my daughters are old enough to fully enjoy these books.