Heidi

Heidi

4.2 279
by Johanna Spyri
     
 

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First published in 1880, Heidi introduces young readers and listeners to one of the most charming young heroines ever.

This beautiful, stirring novel tells of five-year-old Heidi, an orphan sent to live high up in the mountains with her cantankerous grandfather. Sweet-natured Heidi soon wins her grandfather's heart and makes friends with the lively young

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Overview

First published in 1880, Heidi introduces young readers and listeners to one of the most charming young heroines ever.

This beautiful, stirring novel tells of five-year-old Heidi, an orphan sent to live high up in the mountains with her cantankerous grandfather. Sweet-natured Heidi soon wins her grandfather's heart and makes friends with the lively young goatherd, Peter. Her newfound happiness ends quickly, however, when Heidi's aunt, Dete, takes her off to the city of Frankfurt to be a companion to a sickly child. Finally Heidi is restored to her Alpine home. And when her new friend, Clara, joins her in the mountains, Heidi's innocent charm and the majestic beauty of the Alps combine to work a healing miracle.

This edition of Heidi features ten gorgeous color plates and twenty-three black-and-white drawings by Jessie Willcox Smith. Smith's sumptuous pictures capture all the joy of this beloved classic, from the splendor of Switzerland's mighty Alps to the subdued drama of Clara's upper-class Frankfurt home to the exhilarating pleasure of an Alpine sleigh ride.

Now a whole new generation of young readers can fall under the enchanting spell that Heidi has cast for more than a century

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
Dozens of editions are available of this classic tale about a Swiss mountain girl who is sent to live with a strange family in town, leaving behind her irascible but lovable grandfather. New editions or, as in this case, reissues of previous editions, must earn their space on the crowded bookshelf. This version does so from beginning to end. The book opens with an introduction by the British novelist Eva Ibbotson, who was born in Austria. Although she admits that she has never milked a goat, she movingly recalls her family's escape from Hitler, feeling displaced in England, and learning English, in part, through reading Heidi, her favorite book, in translation. The book concludes with a Q&A about Johanna Spyri, a summary of the characters, activities related to the novel and its setting, and information about Switzerland and cheese-making. Although the paper is not the highest quality and might not withstand handling by multiple readers, the illustrations are charmingly old-fashioned. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
Children's Literature - Summer Whiting
Heidi is a young girl who lives with her aunt. Surprisingly, Aunt Dete has just taken a job in Frankfurt and Heidi is unable to travel with her. Instead she is to go live in the mountains with her grandfather. Grandfather is at first unhappy to see Heidi. He is unsure of how he will entertain her or even where she will sleep. Heidi joyfully finds a little spot in the hayloft and makes herself at home on the hay. She loves to gaze out the window at the valley below. Grandfather shares her love of the beauty of the mountain and begins to appreciate her sweet spirit. As the months pass, Heidi makes friends with Peter, the shepherd boy, and his grandmother. She visits them regularly and brings joy to all she comes into contact with. Aunt Dete becomes engaged and returns for Heidi. Her fiance is looking for a friend for his daughter, Klara, who is confined to a wheelchair. Heidi is deeply saddened to leave the mountain but must obey her aunt. While in Frankfurt, she learns to read and becomes close with Klara. But Heidi misses her grandfather and the beauty of the mountain. Her sadness makes her ill. She is unable to eat and becomes frail and thin. She is then sent back to live on the mountain with her grandfather and is elated to be home again. Youngsters will be exposed to a different culture and will enjoy the classic illustrations. Reviewer: Summer Whiting
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—The text in this picture-book version of the story flows smoothly while incorporating many incidents from the original. Dusíková's watercolor illustrations feature rosy-cheeked children, cuddly goats, and flowering hillside pastures. The images enhance the narrative and reveal enough in themselves for browsers to understand the basic plot. Although not an essential purchase, the book provides an attractive option for those wishing to introduce the classic tale to a young audience.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kirkus Reviews
Squeezing a 300-page (give or take a few) classic into a mere 32 pages may sound impossible, but this new Swiss translation not only pulls it off, it never sacrifices heart for succinct storytelling in the doing. Spyri's novel of a young girl who is sent to live with her grandfather in the mountains is retold here with accompanying lush watercolors and wide, sweeping panoramas. Dus'kova taps into the emotional core of this tale, making it accessible to all but the youngest readers. Though this version does rely to some extent on reducing individual scenes into their most essential parts, the narrative is smooth and consistent. Some parents will eschew this version for a bedtime reading of the original, but for those youngest children who still need a swath of beautiful pictures to carry them through the story, this may well fit the bill. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
 • "Many a childhood vision of the Alps was founded on the nineteenth-century Swiss classic." —Guardian

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9786050316803
Publisher:
Johanna Spyri
Publication date:
08/08/2014
Sold by:
Simplicissimus Book Farm
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Heidi

Chapter One

Up The Mountain To Alm-Uncle

From the old and pleasantly situated village of Mayenfeld, a footpath winds through green and shady meadows to the foot of the mountains, which on this side look down from their stern and lofty heights upon the valley below. The land grows gradually wilder as the path ascends, and the climber has not gone far before he begins to inhale the fragrance of the short grass and sturdy mountain-plants, for the way is steep and leads directly up to the summits above.

On a clear sunny morning in June two figures might be seen climbing the narrow mountain path; one a tall, strong-looking girl, the other a child whom she was leading by the hand, and whose little cheeks were so aglow with heat that the crimson color could be seen even through the dark, sunburnt skin. And this was hardly to be wondered at, for in spite of the hot June sun the child was clothed as if to keep off the bitterest frost. She did not look more than five years old, if as much, but what her natural figure was like, it would have been hard to say, for she had apparently two, if not three dresses, one above the other, and over these a thick red woollen shawl wound round about her, so that the little body presented a shapeless appearance, as, with its small feet shod in thick, nailed mountainshoes, it slowly and laboriously plodded its way up in the heat. The two must have left the valley a good hour's walk behind them, when they came to the hamlet known as Dorfli, which is situated half-way up the mountain. Here the wayfarers met with greetings from all sides, some calling to themfrom windows, some from open doors, others from outside, for the elder girl was now in her old home. She did not, however, pause in her walk to respond to her friends' welcoming cries and questions, but passed on without stopping for a moment until she reached the last of the scattered houses of the hamlet. Here a voice called to her from the door: "Wait a moment, Dete; if you are going up higher, I will come with you."

The girl thus addressed stood still, and the child immediately let go her hand and seated herself on the ground.

"Are you tired, Heidi?" asked her companion.

"No, I am hot," answered the child.

"We shall soon get to the top now. You must walk bravely on a little longer, and take good long steps, and in another hour we shall be there," said Dete in an encouraging voice.

They were now joined by a stout, good-natured-looking woman, who walked on ahead with her old acquaintance, the two breaking forth at once into lively conversation about everybody and everything in Dorfli and its surroundings, while the child wandered behind them.

"And where are you off to with the child?" asked the one who had just joined the party. "I suppose it is the child your sister left? "

"Yes, " answered Dete. " I am taking her up to Uncle, where she must stay."

"The child stay up there with Alm-Uncle! You must be out of your senses, Dete! How can you think of such a thing! The old man, however, will soon send you and your proposal packing off home again!"

"He cannot very well do that, seeing that he is her grandfather. He must do something for her. I have had the charge of the child till now, and I can tell you, Barbel, I am not going to give up the chance which has just fallen to me of getting a good place, for her sake. It is for the grandfather now to do his duty by her."

"That would be all very well if he were like other people," asseverated stout Barbel warmly, "but you know what he is. And what can he do with a child, especially with one so young! The child cannot possibly live with him. But where are you thinking of going yourself?"

"To Frankfurt, where an extra good place awaits me," answered Dete. "The people I am going to were down at the Baths last summer, and it was part of my duty to attend upon their rooms. They would have liked then to take me away with them, but I could not leave. Now they are there again and have repeated their offer, and I intend to go with them, you may make up your mind to that! "

"I am glad I am not the child!" exclaimed Barbel, with a gesture of horrified pity. " Not a creature knows anything about the old man up there! He will have nothing to do with anybody, and never sets his foot inside a church from one year's end to another. When he does come down once in a while, everybody clears out of the way of him and his big stick. The mere sight of him, with his bushy gray eyebrows and his immense beard, is alarming enough. He looks like any old heathen or Indian, and few would care to meet him alone."

"Well, and what of that?" said Dete, in a defiant voice, "he is the grandfather all the same, and must look after the child. He is not likely to do her any harm, and if he does, he will be answerable for it, not I"

"I should very much like to know," continued Barbel, in an inquiring tone of voice, " what the old man has on his conscience that he looks as he does, and lives up there on the mountain like a hermit, hardly ever allowing himself to be seen. All kinds of things are said about him. You, Dete, however, must certainly have learnt a good deal concerning him from your sister-am I not right? 11

"You are right, I did, but I am not going to repeat what I heard; if it should come to his ears I should get into trouble about it."

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