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Pinky Pye by Eleanor Estes

Pinky Pye (original 1958; edition 2000)

by Eleanor Estes (Author)

Series: Pye Series (2)

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1,005816,574 (3.89)10
While spending a bird-watching summer on Fire Island, the Pye family acquires a small black kitten that can use a typewriter.
Title:Pinky Pye
Authors:Eleanor Estes (Author)
Info:HMH Books for Young Readers (2000), Edition: First, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Pinky Pye by Eleanor Estes (1958)


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Pinky Pie is a busy black kitten. The Pye family found her on the stoop of the Eyrie, the cottage they were staying at on Fire Island for the summer. Pinky had been abandoned, but decided she could live with the Pyes.

The Pyes are not your average family. Papa is a well-known and respected ornithologist with a wife, son – 10 year-old Jerry, daughter – 9 year-old Rachel, Ginger the dog and Gracie their cat. Along with the family is 3 year-old Uncle Bennie – Mrs. Pye’s brother. Each has their own unique intelligence and Pinky with her own is a perfect fit.

Uncle Bennie has a love of crickets and grasshoppers and keeps a few as pets. He puts them up in the secret room in the eaves to keep them safe from the cat and dog. After a big storm, he find them missing in the morning. He catches more and the same things happens again. Very strange.
Rachel is intent on discovering a new species of bird, to help her Dad.

Meanwhile, Pinky is secretly writing her meditations on Papa’s typewriter.

Written in the 1950s, it is a simple and entertaining read from another time. Eleanor Estes is known for her award winning books for children, but adults can enjoy them too…taking a break from the adult world of books. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Dec 30, 2021 |
Like its predecessor Ginger Pye, this book is ok but nothing amazing. The author had a cute idea, but her rambling style of writing frustrated me more than anything. ( )
  TnTexas | Apr 1, 2013 |
The Pye family is back, with nine (almost ten) year old Rachel, brother Jerry who is ten, Papa who is a famous ornithologist or bird man, Mama, three (almost four) year old Uncle Bennie, cat Gracie, and very smart dog Ginger. Mr. Pye has an assignment to do a study of birds on Fire Island, so he takes the whole family with him and rents a cottage appropriately named The Eyrie from Mrs. A. A. Pulie. While there, the Pyes adopt a little black cat with one white paw whom they name Pinky. And what is amazing is that Pinky knows how to type! However, Papa’s friend Hiram Bish, another famous bird man, and his wife are sailing on the S. S. Pennsylvania near Fire Island and during a terrible storm lose their rare pet owl, one of the smallest in the world, when it is blown out of Mrs. Bish’s hands by the wind.
Meanwhile at The Eyrie on Fire Island, Pinky is earning a place in the Pyes’ hearts by boxing with Ginger, playing games with Mr. Pye, watching Uncle Bennie collect crickets and grasshoppers, and, of course, typing her meditations. Then after the storm, first Gracie, who has been sitting on the porch roof and looking at the attic window, then Rachel, and then Pinky all start watching something that is moving around in the attic of The Eyrie, but they can’t quite make out what it is. Uncle Bennie is putting his crickets and grasshoppers in the attic to sleep at night, but in the morning they’re gone and their box is poked through with holes. He thinks that maybe they are poking their way out and escaping. What is happening to them? What or who is in the attic? And what kind of meditations will Pinky type?
This delightful story, the sequel to the Newbery Medal winner Ginger Pye, was an ALA Notable Book. As the owner of several cats through the years, I can testify that the author captures the personality of a cat perfectly in her portrayal of Pinky. There is very little that might be considered objectionable—a reference to the ages of rocks when the earth broke away from the sun millions of years ago and a few instances of pipe and cigar smoking. What I like is that the Pyes are a family that, while a little quirky, really love each other and are not afraid to show that love. “Rachel’s heart swelled up with love for her father” (p. 126). The Pyes are also friends with the Moffats who are the subjects of four other children’s novels by Eleanor Estes: The Moffats, The Middle Moffat, Rufus M., and The Moffat Museum, two of which were Newbery Honor books. ( )
  Homeschoolbookreview | Sep 14, 2012 |
Another great book by Eleanor Estes, we laughed a lot with this story. Pinky is by far the most interesting member of the family! "She is adorable, lovable, enchanting and fascinating. A whole book could be written about her and has been. Look in the library for it. Don't skip a word of it, it's all true." -a quote from Pinky Pye about Pinky Pye from the book Pinky Pye. ( )
  momma2 | Jul 14, 2011 |
I did a very dangerous thing in reading this book. You see, Ginger Pye was one of my childhood favorites, but somehow I never managed to read the sequel. Doing so now was basically setting myself up for disappointment. And while I can proudly say that I am actually glad to have read it, I don’t think I’ll revisit it.

As the novel opens, Mr. Edgar Pye has once again been called upon by the men in Washington to go on a bird expedition. But this time he is not traveling to any far-off countries, but to Fire Island, right there on the East Coast. As this is so near to home, the Pyes decide to make a regular summer vacation of it. Papa, Mama, Jerry, Rachel, Ginger, Gracie, and Uncle Bennie all set out for a summer full of fun and excitement. The adventures begin when an abandoned kitten shows up on the front porch of their summer home. They take her in, name her Pinky, and watch as she surprises them all with her behavior, which includes typewriting, sparring, and finding secret entrances into the house. But what about the lost owl of that other bird man, Mr. H. Hiram Bish? Is he gone for good? And will Papa ever remember to close the window in the eaves?

My little sister and I had a bit of a disagreement about this book: she actually likes it better than Ginger Pye, while my preference is definitely for the latter. Yet I can see how some aspects of it might be considered more appealing. Fire Island is a more exotic setting than Cranbury, after all, and Pinky is also the shorter of the two, having few of the first book’s retrospective discursions.

But herein lies the problem. While those discursions slowed Ginger Pye down, they also made it that much more real. Pinky Pye may equal its predecessor as mere entertainment, but it is not nearly as effective in invoking a child’s sense of wonder.

Of course, this is made more difficult when there are things such as a typewriting cat involved. I’m not saying children’s books need be realistic, but Ginger Pye was (for the most part), and I like for series to follow their own internal logic.

Finally, this book simply isn’t as funny as the first. Oh, I giggled now and then, but there was nothing to equal Rachel’s argument with Addie Egan about the word “villain.”

That said, I’m not too disappointed. One can’t be when the Pyes are involved. ( )
2 vote ncgraham | Aug 11, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Estes, Eleanorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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to Helena
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One day, guess who was standing on a little wharf in a town on Long Island waiting for a boat to carry them across the Great South Bay to another island named Fire Island.
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While spending a bird-watching summer on Fire Island, the Pye family acquires a small black kitten that can use a typewriter.

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