"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Heidi Read-Along: Chapters 1-8

Hello, everyone!

I am participating in two read-alongs this month and the first one is the Heidi Read-Along hosted by Amber who blogs at Seasons of Humility!
I have done six read-alongs with Amber before, and they are always a good time!! Make sure you check out Amber's thoughts HERE.

Spoiler alert! I will be talking fondly about everything I've read (so far) in the book Heidi so there will be spoilers, therefore don't read this if you haven't read that book!

Heidi - by Johanna Spyri: Chapters 1-8
Discussion format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading

Favorite Quotes:

'And so the time passed happily on till evening. Then the wind began to roar louder than ever through the old fir trees; Heidi listened with delight to the sound, and it filled her heart so full of gladness that she skipped and danced through the old trees, as if some unheard-of joy had come to her.'

'Outside the moon was struggling with the dark, fast-driving clouds, which at one moment left it clear and shining, and the next swept over it, and all again was dark.'

'The child sat without moving, her eyes taking in the whole scene, and all around was a great stillness, only broken by soft, light puffs of wind that swayed the light bells of the blue flowers, and the shining gold heads of the cistus, and set them nodding merrily on their slender stems.'

'Heidi was never unhappy, for whenever she was she found something to interest or amuse her.'

Johanna Spyri's descriptions are so gorgeous! They are delightful to read.

General Impressions:

This is my second time reading this, and even though I know everything that is happening and going to happen I still am loving it! My family also owns a picture book version which still is longer than most picture books. Whenever my mom read it to my sisters and me before bed, she would stop every time Heidi went to sleep. I have found that some of chapters do that too, so I have liked keeping up the "tradition".

Something that I found interesting is that it seems most people imagine Heidi with blond hair, I think of her that way myself! I thought that because that is what she looked like in the picture book that we had. In the edition that I am reading (see a like picture above) my sisters and I always thought that it was so wrong that she had dark hair. In chapter 8 I stumbled upon Heidi being described as
"...she has short, curly black hair, and black eyes, and wears a brown dress, and does not talk quite like we do."
My edition is actually accurate!

The characters:
Heidi: She is such a dear! She is so sweet and loving. She treats the goats with so much love and care. The best way to describe her is as the Grandmother does:
"What a loving little heart it is, and how merrily she tells her tale!"
It breaks my heart when she cries about not being able to help the Grandmother see again, though it is healed again (my heart) when she gets her grandfather to fix everything for him, and it was so kind of him to do it.

The Alm-Uncle: Everyone in the book is afraid of him, but he is just depressed...and lonely, though he doesn't know it because he wants to be alone all the time. I love reading about him and Heidi together because she is just a ray of sunshine brightening his life. Whenever she just follows him around it is so cute! It is always sad for me to read when Dete takes her away.

Peter: I thought that it was absolutely adorable when the Alm-Uncle called him "General". At times he can be a little sulky, but I think that he is just introverted which I relate to.

Clara: Of all of the characters, she is the one that seems to have the least memorable bits for me. This might change during this reread, but to me she's just kind of... there. I believe that she is nice, but not much besides that. It is funny to me all of the talk about "gaping" during lessons until Heidi came.

Fräulein Rottenmeier: It absolutely cracks me up that "rotten" is in her name. She is so scrict, she needs to liven up a little!

Sebastian: He is probably my favorite. I don't know why, but there we go. I mean, he did save her hat. This line with him is something that I do everyday:
'Sebastian's face became convulsed, he was overcome with inward laughter but knew his place too well to laugh aloud.'

All of Heidi's adventures are so amusing! Everything with the kittens and the boy with the hand organ don't fail to make me laugh.

Discussion Questions:

1. Which character ended up surprising you most in these first eight chapters?

Surprising me? This time around I found the Alm-Uncle and Peter really relatable for their introversion, which surprised me. Also just loving Sebastian as much as I do without knowing why is surprising.

2. Do you think you would enjoy living the way Heidi's grandfather does? What would you like or dislike about that kind of life and home?

As soon as it was winter in the story I thought, "Yep, I could live like this." I don't know if I would enjoy it all the time, but it would be so neat to spend a lot of time like that, taking a break from my usual distractions.

3. Which scene have you found most touching so far? Most amusing?

Most touching: Heidi crying about the Grandmother being blind.
Most amusing: The kittens and Fräulein Rottenmeier's reaction!

Thank you to Amber for hosting this! And thanks to all of you for reading! What do you think of my observations?



  1. Great post MC! Glad you are participating! I loved reading your quotes and your impressions of the book. And that you are enjoying the read for the second time. I too Noticed that Heidi had black hair! I always thought of her as a little blonde girl so I too found it interesting to run into the black hair description. The cover of your book is very pretty! And depicts her accurately it looks like. Looking forward to seeing what you think on the next section!

    1. Thanks, Julie! I'm glad to be revisiting this book with everyone! I remember thinking that it was a little boring the first time, but rereading it I find it absolutely charming! Funny, isn't it? I also have been picturing her like Shirley Temple from a movie version that I have seen. Can't wait for the rest of the book!

  2. I'm really glad you're loving the book this second time around! Responding to your comment above, I could totally understand how the story might have felt boring the first time--I imagine I might have felt the same way if I'd read it when I was younger. (Which I don't recall doing.) But reading it now, I feel like I can appreciate it more--plus, it's always fun to have the motivation of reading and discussing a classic with you all! :)

    Anywho, I agree that the descriptions in this story are lovely! They really set the scene and pull you into the locations, especially the beautiful mountain setting.

    Great thoughts about all the characters! Heidi is totally sweet and charming. The Alm-Uncle is wonderful too, and I agree that it's cute how he refers to Peter as a general. :) And so true about Rottenmeier! She sadly lives up to her name. :P

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts--and for the sweet words at the beginning of your post! I'm so glad you enjoy these read-alongs; you all make them fun to host!


    1. I know that when I was younger, around when I read this for the first time, I was really into fantasy stories with a lot of adventure. Now, the classics are my favorites, so this is delightful! And yes, having people to talk to about it makes it even more fun!

      Absolutely! Now that I'm older I also really appreciate the writing style.

      It is a brilliant cast of characters who are all so sweet, except of course Rottenmeier. Lol. I am looking forward to seeing more of them!

      Yes, of course! I love joining you in talking about all of these! :)


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