“Heidi” by Johanna Spyri, Goodreads Review


I first read this book when I was about 7 years old and just loved it. I think it was the gorgeous descriptions of Heidi’s mountain that really won me over. I also enjoyed the descriptions of butter making and of milking the goats. Recently I reread this book with a class of students, and you know what they say about a book being like an old friend. I wondered if I would still like it, and I still do. This time around, reading it again almost 3 decades later, I liked Heidi as a character. She actually is much a like a Zen monk in that she approaches life with this childish naivete but in fact is more in tuned with what’s important and the beauty of the world than all the adults around her. In this way, she brings joy to everyone around her because she helps them see the joy in their own hearts through her compassion and love. Heidi is definitely a Christian and religious story, so it is very compatible with me as I was raised Christian as well, but I think any reader can find it beautifully spiritual–as I said, Heidi can be quite the little Buddhist. Not only is this just a lovely read for adults, it’s absolutely wonderful for kids to read. I’m really glad I read it as a child and that the memory of Heidi and her mountain is deep within me and has subtly shaped me throughout the years.