Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Fair Lady...

... um, Dame, actually. Dame Julie Andrews, that's correct, I think. Although if you are trying to find her in your library, you might have to look under Julie Andrews Edwards.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Julie's acting career for many years, we have recently been exploring the fruits of her writing career. Here are some of our favorites:

Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and LullabiesOur library had a copy of Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies and in true Julie fashion, it is practically perfect in every way. Obviously, not all of the selections are written by Julie Andrews. For Sunshine, it has sparked an interest in poetry that we just might have to explore further this coming school year.

The book came with a CD in the back that included the recitation of some of the poems by Ms. Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. Some of them are true story poems written by Julie and Emma themselves. I am sure you know this woman's voice so you can only imagine how enchanting it sounds reciting poetry. Absolutely loverly!

(For you non-theater buffs, Julie was the original Eliza in the Broadway version of My Fair Lady. Audrey Hepburn got the silver screen role when Jack Warner didn't think Julie would be photogenic enough. Hah!)

The Very Fairy PrincessI wish this next book had come out when Sunshine was littler because it fits my Little Miss Sunshine perfectly. I might put a copy away for her in the event that she has her own fairy princess someday.  The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton is about a little girl named Geraldine who just knows she's a fairy princess and can prove it! Which part reminded me the most of Sunshine, hmmmm...
The BIG decision is which dress to wear: pink and white, pink and purple, pink and red... or just PINK?
Oh, that's it!

There are delightful little messages throughout the book that remind other fairy princesses that life is not all about the sparkle, but the duties and responsibilities too! Being a good friend, solving problems, being helpful, and taking a bath are all part of being a fairy princess. I can think of quite a few friends out there with fairy princesses of their own who would love this book! You know who you are! : )

Mandy (Julie Andrews Collection)For fairy princesses who have grown up, (sniff, sniff) Sunshine recommends Mandy, the first book in the Julie Andrews Collection originally published in 1971. From Amazon:
For an orphan child whose life is filled with comfortable, predictable sameness, with no particular hardships, life is, well, all right. Really, what does Mandy have to worry about? So it comes as a surprise even to Mandy when a small restlessness begins to grow in her. This lonely ache sets her to wandering farther afield, and leads her to a startling and wonderful discovery over the orphanage wall--a very old, very small, seemingly abandoned cottage. Embarking on a clandestine domestic fantasy involving gardening tools and soap flakes, Mandy finds herself being less than honest about where and how she's spending her days. Holding her secret closer and closer to her heart, this imaginative dreamer inadvertently endangers her reputation--and her life.

Think Secret Garden meets A Little Princess. Sunshine wants me to point out just a few things for the more sensitive readers.
Mandy is a little mean to her best friend at times and even takes things without permission all because she is trying to keep the secret of the little cottage for herself. She definitely learns a lesson about that in the end! It was also a little scary when Mandy got sick but she is rescued, so don't worry!
I read this first before giving it to her to read and while I don't remember specifics, I remember that Mandy definitely struggles with her conscience. She knows she shouldn't steal or lie, but the longing to have a place to call her own is just too great for this little orphan girl bereft of family. She does try to make amends for her wrongs when she can. All in all, there was nothing I found objectionable.

We have a few more Julie Andrews Edwards books waiting on our shelf and I have made it over halfway through her auto-biography, which so far, is very interesting though definitely not for kids! I'll let you know how we like the others later!


  1. Thanks for the recommendations! We are looking for some new books, now that we're about 1/2 way through summer, so I will see if our library has these =)

  2. Did you know that a lady named Marni Nixon was the singing voice for both Aurdrey Hepburn,in n My Fair Lady and Julie Andrews inthe Sound of Music? And she did a ton of voice over work. She had a little tv show here in the Pac NW called "Boomerang".

    the JAE book "Mandy" looks like something my little girlies would enjoy!

  3. Kimberly,
    I did know about Marni Nixon dubbing for Audrey (also Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Marilyn Monroe) although she never dubbed for Julie. She was actually in the Sound of Music with Julie as Sister Sophia and can be seen and heard pondering the problem of Maria! Oh, I just might have to go pull that one out of the DVD cabinet, you've inspired a craving! : )

  4. She's doing the voice for the mean mom in "Despicable Me". I heard she is a real meanie when you meet her in person. I do love her movies, though!

  5. Laura,
    I was kind of surprised when her autobiography showed a more "earthy" side of her and her upbringing. She always appears so prim and proper in the movies that I love so it's easy to just assume that is the way she is in real life. Like all things, we can't really know a person by their work alone.

  6. Thanks for sharing. I am big Julie Andrews fan. Neat latin teacher in high school's sister is the voice singing "Climb Every Mountain" in The Sound of Music. It is not the actress playing Mother Superior that actually sings. When my high school put on The Sound of Music for the spring musical, we were lucky enough to have my teacher's sister come and sing "Climb Every Mountain" during intermission. It was such a treat. Loving your book reviews.

  7. Charlotte,
    Thanks for correcting the info- Since you mention, I did know that Marni was in Sound of Music- I really like Julie Andrews movies also... Hmmm, maybe a summer movie fest is in the works!!

  8. I just wrote about going to her book signing on my blog. It was wonderful!

  9. I'm going to have to look up Mandy. Another one that we enjoyed by her was, "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles".
    That's disappointing to read that she's really a meany in real life. :(


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!