Father Brown Reader is a new book
that contains four adaptations of the Father Brown stories by G.K.
Chesterton. Nancy Carpentier Brown has done the adaptations
along with illustrations from Ted Schluenderfritz. The book
is primarily designed for ages 9-12 and I think are quite perfect for
this age group.
As an avid Chesterton fan myself and one who has read the various
Father Brown mysteries a couple of times I believe the four selections
of “The Blue Cross,” “The Strange Feet,” “The Flying Stars,” and “The
Absence of Mr. Glass.” to be a very good representation to introduce
children to the writing of Chesterton. I surely wish I had
been and sadly never read anything from Chesterton until my forties and
then read everything I could get my hands on. Please don’t
let this omission happen to your children.
The adaptations themselves work quite well for the target audience and
highlight both the whimsy of Chesterton, but also the deeper truths
contained in the stories. The illustrations go along
perfectly with the stories and I think Chesterton himself would have
approved of them. I wouldn’t have thought the stories
collected to be that adaptable for younger readers, but after reading
the adaptations I can now see how much of Chesterton and aspects of his
stories can carry over very well to this audience and really how much
of his fiction has a child-like quality to them.
I had fun re-reading the adaptations even if I was already thoroughly
acquainted with the stories and the illustrations went along perfectly.
yippee! I’ve got a 9 yr old who’s reading skills are just getting to where they should be and I have a hard time finding things he’s interested in. I’ll pop over to amazon and see if i can’t find these.
Librivox.org has the Father Brown collection in audio. I have listened to everything of Father Brown they recorded and it was quite extensive.
Thanks, Jeff, for your review, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Here in Ireland, during my school days years ago, the English curriculum featured poetry, prose, and short stories; the short stories consisted of a full book of about fifty/sixty stories by authors from a mixture of nationalities. One of these was G K Chesterton.
There was a rota of poems, prose items and short stories (usually between six to ten of each) and these were what you seriously studied for the public examinations. There were four sets, so, for example, if you did the exams in 1982, then the students who did the exams in 1986 would have studied the same material. Of course, the actual three books (poetry, prose and short stories) were the same for everybody for many years, so they could be easily handed down from older to younger brothers/sisters, and so you could always read the other stuff which was not necessarily on your exam schedule for your year.
One of the items in the prose book was an extract from “The Path To Rome” by Hilaire Belloc, and one of the short stories in the book was “The Queer Feet” by Chesterton. This was the only Chesterton story in the book; no author had two stories.
So for most Irish people, their first introduction to Chesterton is “The Queer Feet”.
That is what the story was called. Perhaps, in these more “politically correct” times, somebody has changed the title.
It’s the story about some gentlemen going to dinner.
Just ordered it via the author’s blog (Amazon is sold out.) It looks terrific. We watched the old British series that was released to DVD earlier this year, and as much as the two older ones (ten- and eleven-years-old) liked it, it was a bit over their heads. This sounds perfect. It’ll be their St. Nick’s gift this year.
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