cover image Brontes


Chronicle Books, Catherine Brighton. Chronicle Books, $11.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-0608-4

A tepid first-person narrative introduces readers to the Bronte family as elder sister Charlotte recounts days spent on wild Yorkshire moors, ``dear Papa's'' sermons, and the children's growing interest, even obsession, in creating imaginary worlds. While tracking the four siblings' artistic growth--from games to stories to tiny written books--the text does little more than scratch the surface of a fascinating and worthwhile subject. Background information is sorely needed--where is Haworth? what are the moors?--as are suggestions for further reading. Dreamy, detailed illustrations dwell on romantic aspects of the family's existence: the Brontes, who were poor, here look privileged and well-dressed. On the other hand, Brighton is successful in suggesting the constant presence of figments of the imagination--larger-than-life toy soldiers hover in doorways, windows are conduits to distant lands. Ages 4-10. (Mar.)