Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box, and One Clever Girl Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-10-11 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

"Thank goodness the talented Deborah Hopkinson is a Jane Austen fan, for she has produced a picture-book biography of the legendary authoress that is well deserved of a spot in any Janeite's personal library. It certainly sparked my always-flickering-love of Austen's written word and worlds.

Although the information is nothing new to an Austen enthusiast, the presentation is charming. Qin Leng's billowy illustrations cast a glow on the genteel, long-ago era, when life was simpler, yes, but also limiting to women who dreamed of more from life than playing cards and marrying. "But Jane was a writer who didn't give up." How refreshing that her spinsterhood wasn't belabored, rather her grit to forge an unlikely path. Indeed, that is the heroine our young girls should have the pleasure to emulate.

In this humble reader's opinion, Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen is a book universally acknowledged to be a delight for young and old alike.
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"This picture book biography about Jane Austen is sweet and simple. Hopkinson’s introduction to this powerhouse of English literature just touches on a few of the challenges she had as a woman writing in her time. Fans of Austen will want to get this in their child’s hands; although I can’t see very many boys picking this one up. Ink and watercolor illustrations on paper by Qin Leng are skillfully executed for time period and content. Austen comes across as a child and young woman ahead of her time. Appended are a timeline of Austen’s life, a list of websites for more information and a list of Hopkinson’s resources consulted.

Recommended for K-3, where books about Jane Austen and film adaptations of her works are popular.
" said.

"I loved how Hopkinson adapted the first line from Pride and Prejudice for the first line of this children's biography: "It is a truth uniersally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one of our greatest writers." Qin Leng's ink and watercolor paintings reminded me strongly of Tricia Tusa's artwork. This is a short, but interesting biography. The back matter includes "Jane's Bookshelf" which lists her 6 novels in publication order, with 2 quotes from each book, and a short synopsis of the plot. Several internet sites are listed as well as a short bibliography. " said.

"Jane Austen is my preferred author across time and space. For a number of years I would reread her books on a regular basis. I have no idea how many times I’ve read each one. Emma is still my favourite. So of course I had to read this. So far I’ve read it three times. Qin Leng’s illustrations are gorgeous. I love how she captures the time period and essence of these characters. Deborah Hopkins has introduced me to aspects of Jane Austen’s life I didn’t know about. Of course I loved this! Now I’m off to read it again before it goes back to the library.
I realize I forgot to mention that this book is an important inspiration for want to be writers. The back matter is also significant. There is a timeline of important events. A section titled “Jane’s Bookshelf” provides a synopsis and quotes from each of novels. There is also a bibliography with Internet and hard copy resources.
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" A beautiful picture book introduction to Jane Austen. The soft watercolor illustrations are just perfect, and the text does a great job at capturing the magic of this favorite author. " said.

" I actually cried a little.Jane Austen’s life told in an age-appropriate and most lovely way for young children. The illustrations are simply beautiful " said.

" Charming exploration of Jane Austen's life as a child to publication as an adult. Appropriately written for children and delightfully enhanced by Qin Leng's artistic impressions. " said.

" Charming with delightful illustrations. I wouldn't mind having a couple of these illustrations on my wall. " said.

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