Thursday, June 2, 2011

Heidi - Johanna Spyri

Johanna Spyri
Trans. Elizabeth P. Stork
Copyright 1919
Project Gutenberg e-book

The product description:
What happens when a little orphan girl is forced to live with her cold and frightening grandfather? The heartwarming answer has engaged children for more than a century, both on the page and on the screen. Johanna Spyri’s beloved story offers youngsters an endearing and intelligent heroine, a cast of unique and memorable characters, and a fascinating portrait of a small Alpine village.
Johanna Spyri's book Heidi is one I've read and enjoyed several times as a kid. I'm not quite sure why I felt the need to re-read it just now, but I did, and found the story to be just as good as an adult as I did as a child. Heidi is just as charming now as she was back then in her view on the world, and Peter and his goats...

There are a couple of ways that the story is dated, but then, it was written over a century ago. In so many other ways, it's absolutely charming and timeless. I don't think the mountain views will ever change too much, and the sun will still set in its' fire, and the eagles will still scream. Although, attitudes to schooling and methods have changed a bit.

I hadn't realized until I read the introduction to this edition that Heidi was originally written in German. Said introduction also gives a bit of detail as to the method of translation too - noting that the translator is Elizabeth P. Stork. Her translation is still a common one on (the top non-Kindle result, in fact).

A perfect story for those aged nine to twelve (or older. Any adult who read this as a child may well love the trip down memory lane). Although Heidi may jump out at girls, there's also Peter's point of view and story, at least for the sections in the Alps to catch the interest of any boys. And, don't forget the several various movie adaptations... Shirley Temple is always cute as can be.
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