Heidi, Level 2, Penguin Readers

Overview

Orphaned at an early age and taken in by her young aunt Dete, Heidi—short for Adelheid—is soon in the way. Dete has a new and better job where Heidi is not welcome, so the child must live with her curmudgeon of a grandfather high on the Alm Mountain in the Swiss Alps.

Everyone calls him the Alm-Uncle because he never comes down to the village, even in the coldest winter, and he's developed a reputation as an evil, godless old hermit. But Heidi soon finds that things are not ...

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Overview

Orphaned at an early age and taken in by her young aunt Dete, Heidi—short for Adelheid—is soon in the way. Dete has a new and better job where Heidi is not welcome, so the child must live with her curmudgeon of a grandfather high on the Alm Mountain in the Swiss Alps.

Everyone calls him the Alm-Uncle because he never comes down to the village, even in the coldest winter, and he's developed a reputation as an evil, godless old hermit. But Heidi soon finds that things are not always what others say they are, makes friends with the Alm-Uncle, and happily runs wild in the glorious mountains with the goat boy, Peter, and his goats.

Suddenly Dete appears again, and Heidi finds herself confined in a stone house in a stone city where she is expected to be companion to the invalid Klara. Dete sees this as a great opportunity for Heidi, one that will provide her with an education and polish. But, bitterly unhappy away from her grandfather and the outdoor life she has grown to love, Heidi at last makes her way back to the Alm. How Klara finally comes to the mountains as well, and the surprising events that follow, form the heartwarming ending to a story that has been loved for generations by children all over the world.

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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
School Library Journal
Gr 4-9-The 1880 classic by Johanna Spyri. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405842853
  • Publisher: Pearson Education ESL
  • Publication date: 10/29/2008
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 48
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Eva Ibbotson, born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner (21 January 1925 - 20 October 2010), was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children's books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years. For the historical novel Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan, 2001), she won the Smarties Prize in category 9-11 years, garnered unusual commendation as runner up for the Guardian Prize, and made the Carnegie, Whitbread, and Blue Peter shortlists. She was a finalist for the 2010 Guardian Prize at the time of her death. Her last book, The Abominables, was one of eight books on the longlist for the same award in 2012.

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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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