My mother read it to me and her mother read it to her, and I believe my mother’s mother’s mother read it aloud, too. I am talking about the children’s book, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney. This week featured National Read a Book Day. Why not celebrate by reading a book to someone special?
Do you remember The Five Little Peppers ? I didn’t save too many bits and pieces from my parents’ home, but I did keep this book that has been in my family for generations. Love and happiness abound in this book, not only between the covers, but in the gift of memories from this story, too.
The Five Little Peppers and How The Grew was published in …1881! I am delighted to have one of the originals! This book, How They Grew was the first in what became a twelve book series.
My mother tucked me in to bed each night and always read aloud to me. I am sure many of you have pleasant memories like this, too. During the day, my mother was struck and firm, so at night time I enjoyed these peaceful, close moments with her. I was around five years old when my Mom opened first The Peppers and we learned about this family from long ago.
Mrs. Pepper had five children. They called her Mamsie and they lived in a “little brown house.” The family filled the home with love and happiness but they were poor. Mrs. Pepper and all the children had to work together to even keep food in the house. Many nights, they had a cold potato for dinner. Ben was that oldest and good student. He helped the next child, Polly, take care of the younger children. Both Ben and Polly were bright and cheerful.
The younger children were Joel, Davie, and Phronsie (short for Sophronia). Joel sought adventures and mischief, Davie preferred the quieter life and Phronsie embraced the role of baby of the family. The children made friends with Jasper and that ruined out to be a blessing. As child, the name Jasper intrigued me as it sounded exotic and regal to me. Now I hear that this name is becoming popular again.
I imagine that my grandmother liked the book because it described family life as she knew it. By the time my grandmother read them to my mother, my mother liked the story because she could imagine the growing up times of her Mom’s life.
and I loved the old-fashioned antics of the Pepper children and the stories of the olden days.
What is the status of The Five Little Peppers now in 2016, 135 years after the book was first published? I looked on Amazon and The Peppers are still charming today’s parents and children. The ebook edition that I looked at had 140 reviews for an average of 4.5 stars. An ebook collection of all Pepper books was ranked #27,131! One five-star review, titled Old Style Innocence, tells us “The five little Peppers are delightful children who see every day as a new adventure! Great story of the everyday experience of living when things were simple”.
Author Margaret Sidney had a similar life and literary journey as her contemporary, Louis May Alcott. I will tell you more about her in another post. Did you enjoy the story of The Five Little Peppers when you were younger? I hope you have had the pleasure of someone reading you a book, as well as the joy of reading to someone else!
I am a writer, blogger, book reviewer, and bon vivant and encourager. I have lived my entire life in Tropical Ohio. My goal is to make friends with everyone in the world. I am writing a fiction series, The Golden Age of Charli, that presents the problems and praises, and the love and laughter of family life and retirement.
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