Title : THE INCORRIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE – THE MYSTERIOUS HOWLING
[ book 1 of The Incorrible Children of Ashton Place Series ]
Text copyright © 2010 by Maryrose Wood
Illustrations copyright © 2010 by Jon Klassen
Published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books
1st paperback edition, 2011 ; 282 p ; ISBN 978-0-06-179110-9
Rate : 4 of 5
“Wanted Immediately. Energetic Governess for Three Lively Children. Knowledge of French, Latin, History, Etiqutte, Drawing, and Music will be Required – Experience with Animals Strongly Preferrred.”
Penelope Lumley just only fifteen years old, but she was a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, the best of all graduate too. That’s why Miss Charlotte Mortimer – teacher and headmaster of Swanburne, insist and pursued Penelope to answer certain ‘strange’ news in latest edition of Heathcote, All Year Round. Now she on the way to Ashton Place, some place else she never knew, after all she spent most of her childhood time grow-up in Swanburne Academy. Took two days anxious travel then finally she arrive in Ashton Place – a large and great land belong to Lord and Lady Ashton.
“And what sort of people are Lord and Lady Ashton ? Penelope asked. The coachman say : Lady Constance is fond of chocolates and flowers. She’s very young, very pretty, and a bit the spoiled side, in my opinion. As for Lord Frederick, he spends more time at his gentleman’s club than you’d expect of a newly married man, but to each his own, I say. For sport, he loves to hunt. Fox and deer, hare and badgers and all manner a’ birds. On occasion he’s bagged more ... unusual prey.”
Penelope never imagine how true the statement are. Lord and Lady Ashton are not quite parenting people, and the children ... well, it’s not their birth-child, instead the children are found in the forest where Lord Ashton goes to hunt, nearly shoot them actually, mistaken as animals. The three children that so look alike, unmistakably as siblings, at age ten, seven and four. Two boys and the younger are little girl, live and raise in the forest by animal, only speak : Ahwoooooo ! Ahwoooooo ! Ahwooooooo ! Woof ! Woof ! (now can you guest what sort animal raising them ? Yep it’s a wolf).
“All books are judged by their covers until they are read.” [ ~ Agatha Swanburne’s wisdom ~ ]
Despite her highly intelligent and recommended skills, Penelope must thinking hard on how to teach those children. First she must forget Latin verbs, Spanish history, French art, because they must learn to act and do as normal human-being. Betwen Lord Ashton how like them as another his ‘animal-collections’ (he actually have a huge collections of animal taxidermy from his hunt), and Lady Ashton who looks like pretty woman in age of twenty, but her act and brain are not more develop than five years girl (she spoiled, selfish and utterly annoying everyone, even someone really passion like Miss Lumley), who make clear statement not to like the children.
“No hopeless case is truly without hope.” [ Agatha Swanburne’s wisdom ~ ]
The children that called as The Incorrigibles, are Alexander (or Alawooo), Beowulf (or Beowooo) and Cassiopeia (or Cassawoof to be simple). In time, they prove to be very clever and intelligent, absorb anything and easly mimic everything (that’s makes Miss Lumley taking really careful on explaining every little questions they ask). After several attempt, trial and experiment, finally she can make The Incorrigibles more civil and educated children. Although they cannot trust being outdoor, specially near the forest, or woods, where squirell often appears in Ashton, because just a look at those tiny creature, the children will go wild and starting chasing the animal. And don’t ever attempt make sound like howling or barking, they tends to do the same so loud and unstopabble.
“When the impossible becomes merely difficult, that’s when you know you’ve won.” [ ~ Agatha Swanburne’s wisdom ~ ]
I read this book more than a year ago, but the translation edition, somehow not quite satisfied me, but I knew it’s a great and intriguing story. So when I finally found the English edition at sale, just the perfect time to added into my collections (and read it too). Just as I thought, the language or spoken conversations in this story are using term such ‘classical books’ – I think the author want the reader to actually feels the situation, after all this sets on Victorian’s. Event the humour written as simple sarcastic nor hidden behind metaphor, is not quite understood by the translation. One thing for sure, the original illustrated edition by Jon Klassen, are only found in this English edition (what a remarkable drawing, and so precise to each characters).
“There is no need to carry yesterday’s fears and disappointments into a brand-new day.” [ ~ Miss Penelope Lumley’s own wisdom ~ ]
This story not merely children’s storytale, it mixed between fantasy and mystery, intense and filled with intriguing plot that makes me eager to find the truth behind all those unanswers questions. Like where are the Incorrigibles come from ? Are they just abandon in the forest, or someone actually delibrately puts them in there ? Why Lord Ashton keep on his almanac and gone missing in the time of full moon ? Who is the actually person that sabotase Lady Ashton’s Christmas Party by provoked and using the Incorrigibles ? And who or what hidding behind the wall on the attic, where howls and barking sound come from ? So many questions, lies between stories, so I have no choice than pursue the next adventure of The Incorrigibles at part two of the series ... (^_^)
~ my other review on translation edition can be find in HERE ~
~ This Post are include in 2014 Reading Challenge ~
1st Book in What’s A Name Challenge
1st Book in Reading English Challenge
1st Book in TBRR Pile