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Fripsey fun by Madye Lee Chastain
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Fripsey fun (1955)

by Madye Lee Chastain

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213,827,643 (5)None
Recently added byJalenV, katdixo

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Sue-Sue Fripsey may be worried that the new school year will be a dull one, but Marcy Prescott and Patty Fripsey get some good news even before school starts: Gwynn Gilson can't spoil their fun this time. Gwynn's being sent to school in California! On the other hand, the girls don't know what they and the other members of their club, the Bampejens, will do for fun. Liz Fripsey's suggestions aren't received with enthusiasm. It seems that several of the parents of the Bampejens aren't that keen on having nine girls in their house at the same time. Liz suggests asking their youngest brother, Davey, if they may use his little leftover house for a club house sometimes. Too bad for the girls that the third Fripsey brother, Bink, helps Davey with the negotiations...

This book introduced me to the idea of the progressive dinner. Apparently it was like a potluck dinner with each couple being responsible for only one dish, except that each course was served at a different house. The Bampejens decide to have one with very mixed results. Perhaps they shouldn't have kept each course a surprise. (The Agnes Special might work for PMS days, but I don't think I could survive it at any other time.)

In chapter three Mrs. Fripsey, Mrs. Prescott, and their daughters -- except for little Tabby Fripsey -- pay a call on the the Misses Wardfield, their new neighbors. (Chapter one ends with a discussion of the sign outside the ladies' home. Davey drives Liz crazy with his questions.)

As it turns out, the Misses Wardfield are retired music teachers who think it would be fun to give lessons on that Elizabethan flute, the recorder. I had to take recorder lessons in grade school, but that was in the mid-sixties. This book came out in 1955. The folks in Mayville don't know what a recorder is. Miss Letitia and Miss Clara promise to teach the Fripseys for free, but they'll have to buy their own instruments.

There are still plenty of things that need replacing at the Fripsey home. Not all Birch and Folly's tinkering and replacing parts can keep their old car from breaking down. There's one fund that's pretty full -- but it's the Christmas fund. Great-Gram Dundee starts to talk about the kind of Christmases they had when she was a girl. If the kids agree to make all of their presents, they can buy their recorders.

Of course the Fripseys and 'adopted' Fripsey Marcy do not make beautiful music at first. I can't blame Marcy's family for reacting the way they did during Marcy's first practice session at home. At that, they were much more polite than the audience at the Fripsey session in the attic.

This year Bink's class will be decorating the school Christmas tree. Bink has an idea and it is beautiful. A few things go wrong, but it is something different.

Presents are made, but no decorating has been done at home. There isn't even any snow in Mayville. When are the Fripseys going to have that homemade Christmas fun Great-Gram told them about? Oh, they'll have it -- thanks to a wonderful surprise gift from their parents. Marcy gets to be part of it!

The Misses Wardfield planned to hold a recital to introduce the recorder to their new town. Their pupils are willing, but are they ready? What?! They're going to have to wear costumes? Yes, and I loved Bink and Folly's reaction to their costumes at the dress rehearsal! They don't get their theeing and thouing quite right, but they didn't have the 'advantage' of growing up reading Thor comics.

The recital doesn't go off without a hitch but it does lead to something I didn't expect. The Fripseys might be able to replace their car after all...

I love all the Fripsey books without exception. I hope you'll love them too. ( )
  JalenV | Apr 24, 2012 |
'Further Fripsey doings (see Bright Days- 1952, Fripsey Summer- 1953) see this large family through more cheerful small town life.'
added by JalenV | editKirkus Reivews (Oct 27, 2016)
 
But as readers of "Bright Days" and "Fripsey Summer" could have told the girls, no year among the eleven members of the Fripsey family -- with three dogs and four cats -- could be a quiet one.

added by JalenV | editNew York Times, Sarah Chokla Gross (pay site) (Sep 25, 1955)
 
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For Elizabeth Stewart Parnell
First words
What'll we do now? said Sue-Sue Fripsey, wandering over to where Patty and her best friend, Marcy, were sitting on the back lawn.
Quotations
[Great-Gram is asked what she means by an 'old-fashioned Christmas']
Well, she began, in the first place we didn't go out to the store and buy all our presents. No, indeed. We made them all at home. And I can tell you, that's the only way to give at Christmas time! When you make a gift for someone, it really means something. You're thinking of them the whole time you're doing it. None of this running down to a store with a long list and just buying things right and left and in a hurry. Christmas giving loses all its meaning that way. She paused and smiled again. And we made all our decorations for the Christmas tree and we cooked all our Christmas cakes and cookies and made all our candies. My, it was fun! (chapter 3)
Dad grinned over his newspaper at Aunt Partridge's retreating figure. When Marcy began Hot Cross Buns for the seventh time, he closed his paper with a rustle and said, 'Would you like to take a walk, Laura? It's a lovely evening.'

Mother held up her hand. 'Listen!' she said. From next door came the sound of tootling. Lots of tootling. 'Marcy, dear,' said Mother, 'would you like to go practice your flute with the Fripseys? It would be more fun for you, wouldn't it?'

'Oh, yes; they asked me to but I thought you would all like to hear me practice at home.'

'We do! We do,' said Dad quickly. But I wouldn't want to deprive the Fripseys of the pleasure. I don't want to be selfish about it.' (chapter 4)
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