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 Cynthia Kinnunen passes her passion for Anne down to her kids

Of the books of my youth, many of which have been or will be shared with my kids, there is one that stands out in all its fiery red perfectness.  In the last few years, I’ve been able to indulge again, along with my daughter, in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.

Original Anne of Green Gables Printing

For some reason, it feels like such a perfect summertime book.  One that I devoured again and again each year.  One that was even more meaningful because it was based in Canada.  I always have those visions in my head—brought to life in perfect detail in the Canadian television mini-series all those years ago—of rich landscapes, red sandy beaches and quaint village houses.  I adored Anne and Diana’s “bosom” friendship.  And Gilbert, oh Gilbert, how I cheered him on every step of the way and felt so frustrated Anne was ignoring him. The Anne books were such an escape for my tween mind.

Fortunately, my daughter also fell for Anne Shirley, with her wild imagination and her uncanny ability to attract troublesome adventures despite her best efforts.  I think there might even be some striking similarities between that redhead and my strawberry blonde.

A few years ago we drove out to the east coast with many stops along the way but with the goal of spending a week at a cottage on Prince Edward Island.  At last we would be able to explore the very spots that Anne’s adventures would have taken place.

I, of course, dragged the family to the Anne of Green Gables tourist sites, including Avonlea Village. And although they were reluctant to visit, by day’s end, all of them had immersed themselves in the story. Suvi took a class with Miss Stacey (and learned to spell chrysanthemum, I might add).  She clammed up meeting Anne and Diana but thought having long red locks in the dress-up area was simply fabulous (and they would, of course, make her extra super smart, like Anne).  Max and Finnegan, well, since they didn’t really understand the story, simply enjoyed the costumes or pretending to use the fake outhouse.

I feel grateful to have a timeless story that I so adored in my youth that is now also loved by my daughter.  If only I could get the boys to understand the charms of Gilbert Blythe…

Cynthia Kinnunen is a mom of three wonderfully quirky little people who love music, old and new-school adventures and acting as silly as possible at all times. She’s also a freelance writer who blogs for fun at Crumbs in the Minivan and Maple Mixtape.

Photo via Cynthia Kinnunen and Antique Helper

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