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:
Our 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!)
I 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! : )
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!