HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: No Children, No Pets
Author and Illustrator: Marion Holland
Publisher: Avyx (Sonlight), 2012
Related website: http://www.avyx.com (publisher)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 9-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Holland, Marion. No Children, No Pets (originally published in 1956 by Alfred A. Knopf Inc.; republished in 2012 by Avyx Inc., 8032 S. Grant Way, Littleton, CO 80122). Mrs. Mary Sanders lives in Philadelphia, PA, with her three children, twelve year old Jane, eleven year old Don, and four year old Betsy, and their cat Victoria. After Mr. Sanders had died, Mrs. Sanders went back to her old job at the city library, but life is a somewhat difficult always having to pay rent for the downstairs half of the little row house on her salary. Then Mrs. Sanders receives a letter saying that her great-uncle John McGregor has died and left her an apartment house at 303 Oleander Dr. in Palm Glade, FL. With the intention of selling it to make some money, the Sanderses, with Victoria, head down to Florida to find a run-down building with a sign on the front door that says “No Children, No Pets” and an odd assortment of tenants.
Miss Lucy Giddings tends the flowers and feeds the birds but never lets anyone in her apartment. Mrs. Myrtle Pennypacker is very efficient but also quite standoffish. Professor Quincy has a large collection of seashells. And there are others. The people are all “old,” yet the children like Florida and want to stay. However, there are also some mysteries. The man whom Great-Uncle John hired to manage the apartments just a few weeks before, Mr. Brundage, has apparently disappeared. Also, Mrs. Pennypacker’s ruby and diamond clip, which had belonged to her mother, is missing, and she is convinced that Mr. Brundage has absconded with it. What has happened to the mysterious manager? Where is Mrs. Pennypacker’s pin? Will Mrs. Sanders decide to sell the place and return to Pennsylvania? And who is the boy named Mike who is hanging around and helping out?
This attractive, pleasant story by Marion Holland (1908–1989), which I first saw earlier this year in a Sunlight Curriculum display at a homeschool conference and thought looked good, is the kind of humorous book, so common in the 1950s, that parents could give their kids on a lazy summer afternoon for pure leisure reading and not have to worry about the content. It is a fun tale that will easily hold children’s attention and keep them guessing about what comes next. A few common slang euphemisms (doggone, gee, darn it, gosh) occur, but there is nothing that most people would object to. No Children, No Pets was originally published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1956 and was a Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club selection in 1957, back when Weekly Reader books were actually good. It was republished as a paperback by TAB Books in1960. It was republished again by Random House Children’s Books in 1973. The current edition is published by Avyx, which seems to be the publishing division of Sonlight Curriculum.