Heidi

by Johanna Spyri

Read time: about 4 minutes

I remember Heidi from my childhood when a cartoon series I used to watch adapted from the book was highly entertaining. At the time I was not aware of the literature it was translated from. As the years passed I wasn’t much inclined to reading the book myself. However, it all changed when I read ‘Black Beauty’ that I ended up adoring!

Heidi is from the same publishers I had been raving about in Black Beauty! Heidi is no less fancy!

Cover: Heidi

Cover page

On the cover is Heidi herself. She is holding a goat and there is sun blooming in the sky! I particularly loved the flowers at the bottom at that go all the way around the cover. Absolutely gorgeous! Rupa Classics has come up with these beautiful covers and foreword from Ruskin Bond. Absolutely stunning!

Characters

Heidi, as the name suggests, is about this girl called Heidi. She is a orphan who lost both her parents while she was an infant. She is a forever positive sunshine. A particular colour of rose flashes up her cheeks every time she is merry. She always thinks of others before herself. She possesses the power to melt the hardest of the hearts. She is a girl you will not help but fall in love with.

There are other characters in the book such as the old grandfather who is supposedly a hard man but really soft inside. He is Heidi’s guardian. There is Peter who is Heidi’s best friend in the Alps. He is a goatherd who refuses to learn alphabets! There is Peter’s grandma who is blind. A little later in the story we are introduced to many other important characters such as Clara and Grandmama. Every character is straight out of fairy tale. The positive vibe stays throughout the book.

Content

The book is about a girl named Heidi. She is a orphan who comes to live in the Alps with her grandfather who is not much fond of her. She is just five year old and a bundle of positivity. He cannot help by fall in love with her. Heidi makes friends with a goatherd named Peter. They run around the greens and pluck flowers and eat cheese and make merry. Until, Heidi is asked to accompany her aunt to Frankfurt where she would be paid to keep company to an invalid girl.

It breaks everyone’s heart to let her go but things turn out for good. When Heidi returns she is much smarter and well read. She now recites hymns for Peter’s grandmother. The kids have a lot of fun in the book along with the new friends Heidi had made in Frankfurt. There is a lot of merry and some naughtiness.

Even though the book is about the fresh air of the country and beautiful sunshine the book talks explicitly about the goodness of God. It teaches kids to pray to God everyday, as a part of good manners.

I enjoyed the whole book however my favourite parts were with Peter who is just a child. He often gets into trouble with Heidi’s grandfather. He is known as the general of the goat army. It is funny nickname and Peter is a very funny character. Several parts with Heidi’s stay at Frankfurt are amusing.

I should have read this book sooner but now that I have I find it very heartwarming.

Language

The book is meant for kids so the language is very simple. The sentences are very short that are easy to understand. The art lies in the storytelling which is certainly gripping. Heidi has come alive with the author writing her.

Good points

The cover page of the edition I am holding is absolutely stunning! The characters are easy to get close to. The content is just beautiful. There are several sentences that make you chuckle. Language is the best part of any children’s fiction and this one has just made a mark.

Bad points

I do not read children’s fiction much. But I did feel a drag in the story at times. It could be because of the lengthy descriptions to make the children understand the surroundings but it did not really work for me.

Overall

I did love the book. I am glad I finally read it!

Whom do I recommend this to

This book is for those who love children’s fiction. Those who like simple stories are going to like it too.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com