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I bought this series for my daughter the summer after her 1st grade. She could read well and this book is very charming and easy for her to read, albeit sometimes the story could be a little boringly long. There's no hard vocabulary and the background is simple.
The only thing we didn't like was the chapter about baseball. We literally know nothing about how to play baseball so this long chapter is hard to finish with so much details about the sports. Other than that, it was clever, humorous, and full of surprises all through the book. The author seems so interested in children's mindset that it is as if she has never outgrown it herself. I can't admire her more for having so vividly depicted the Moffats kids' inner thoughts. The series is wonderful, funny and adventurous as much as as her another books about the Pye family. Read it!
Rufus Moffat has been a part of me for going on 50 years. It's impossible to say just how greatly this book influenced my perceptions, reading, writing, play or work ethics, but Rufus undisputedly had a positive effect on them all.
I recently purchased this and the other Moffat books for my granddaughter, and when I began reading them to her, I was transported once again to another time...or two...it certainly brought back childhood memories, and, once again, I was swept into the reality of the US home front during World War II. And my granddaughter, born at the turn of the 21st century, was just as captivated by Rufus Moffat as I, born as history was drawing that chapter to a close.
It is probably a host of other protocols which fascinates my granddaughter rather than the ones which grabbed me as a child. She lives in a world where children seldom move about unsupervised in their neighborhoods, and the freedom which Rufus takes for granted is something she can only imagine. Yet there are enough similarities between her life and that of the Moffats to make the story engaging and believable. For instance, my granddaughter's parents repair antique pianos and often install Playmations in them, so the chapter, "The Invisible Piano Player" really amused her on a personal level. And her mother raises a garden every summer, so she knew firsthand about planting beans and then digging them up again to see if they had sprouted.
Some things span across time, regardless of whether they seem archaic. Kids need a window on other eras, other lifestyles, other socioeconomic strata. This book is a good bridge to some of those things.
It's warm. It's funny. It's full of human failings, triumphs, frustrations, joys, selfless acts, solid family values and good, old-fashioned imagination.
This is the touching and delightful story of Rufus M., the youngest Moffat. The setting is in the town of Cranbury which mirrors the real town of West Haven, Connecticut, where the author grew up. The time period is towards the end of World War II, during the Great Depression. Even though Rufus is only a third grader, he finds ways to contribute to the family income. He is an entertaining character that touches the lives of many of the towns' character. Rufus often lives in an imaginary world of the his own. Rufus considers himself the smartest of the four Moffat children. He has a knack for landing himself in the most humorous situations. You will laugh out loud at his antics, and pull for this underdog with a big heart, big dreams, and big way of bringing laughter to all around him.
I just finished reading this book to my 7 year old and 5 year old. We were absolutely enchanted by this book. It is our favorite of Estes's books so far. I found it to be so hilariously funny in spots that I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard. Estes knows somehow knows how to perfectly capture the mind of a child all the while keeping the book interesting for adults by using larger vocabulary and sentences then most children's books. We find ourselves talking about Rufus a lot now that the book is done. "Remember when Rufus had the cardboard boy on his bike? Remember when Rufus wanted to be a ventriloquist?. The list goes on. I am so glad that we found this book it was such a bonding experience for us to read together.
My earliest recollections of reading are when I got my first library card in grade school many, many, did I say many?, years ago. The books that stand out as my first are The Moffat series by Eleanor Estes. To this day I can remember reading about the Moffat family, especially young Rufus. Perhaps I identified with him. I love the drawings in the book and the stories. They are full of family fun and values. I just bought these for my new step-children (getting married Mar 30/10) for them to get the enjoyment that I remember. An excellent value and free shipping if you purchase all 4. I actually received one free because I purchased 4. Worked for me. Enjoy!!! Perhaps they are what inspired me to become an author myself.
I liked this book because it had a lot of adventure in it. That is who I would recommend this book to, people who like adventure. Another reason why I liked this book is because many different sequences of adventure. There is one thing that I would watch out for in this book that is that once you read the first chapter you will be sucked into this book. I recommend this book for all ages. If you ever have this book as a choice pick it. So far I have read 2 books in this series and I got sucked into them both. Can not wait for the next book that I will be reading in the series!!! Choose this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)