Ah, summertime and the living is easy--even if it's off to a rough start--in this sprightly audio edition of Birdsall's debut novel, which won the National Book Award. The Penderwick family, consisting of four daughters, their widower dad and family pet Hound, are at a loss when the cottage they routinely rent on Cape Cod each summer is sold. They luck into a new situation, however, staying at a cottage on the grounds of a mansion in the Berkshires, and their adventurous holiday provides the plot here. Mrs. Tifton, owner of the manse is rather chilly to the Penderwick clan, but her son Jeffrey proves to be an ideal playmate. Listeners fond of gentle stories of closely-knit families and innocent fun will flock to this recording. Denaker is perfect in the role of kindly narrator, though she's less so in the sometimes grating voices of little sister Batty and Latin-spouting Mr. Penderwick. Nonetheless, her performance captures the appealing, timeless nature of the tale. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)[Page 64]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.