post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Little Pear
Author: Eleanor Frances Lattimore
Major Themes: 19th century, China, Children’s Fiction
Synopsis: Little Pear is a five-year-old Chinese boy who loves his family and longs for adventure—but what happens when that adventure carries him too far?
This story was one Mom first read to me years ago before I really remember. This book has a special place in my heart. It’s a wonderful story, one that all little children will love. The version we have is copyright 1931, but even though it was written so long ago it’s still a great story about Chinese children living out daily life.
Five-year-old Little Pear is mischief itself. He lives with his wonderful family, and has a best friend Big Head. One day, he goes and skates on the pond—but when some big boys come and chase him off, he tells them,
“When I grow up I will spank you!”
Then, he decides to go to the city and sets off walking. After a while a young man comes along and asks him where he’s going. When he realizes how far Little Pear has come and that they’re closer to the city than Little Pear’s home, he carries him the rest of the way. Eventually, Little Pear gets home again, and his parents are very glad he’s safe. Later, Little Pear and Big Head find green peaches—and Little Pear eats several. Then, he gets very sick.
This book is one that all will love. Not just because it’s a great way to learn what it’s like to be a Chinese child. It’s also wonderful because we get to go on some fascinating—and yet true-to-life—adventures with Little Pear, and get through more than one scrape. I also love the fact that the author lived in China during her childhood. Drawing on her memories has produced a classic that few will dislike. It’s a perfect reader or read-aloud, and children ages 3 – 7 will especially enjoy it.
NOTE: You may be able to find sequels in a library with older books. We’ve read More About Little Pear, and enjoyed it just as well as the original.