The Mystery Kitten by Holly Webb, Sophy Williams (Illustrator) 5 out of 5 stars Elsa is worried about moving into a new house and having her own room, separate from her sister, Sara. When she hears scratching and mysterious noises coming from the attic, she is terrified. But then she discovers an adorable black kitten, and has to keep him a secret from her family.
Elsa meets new friends, solves the mystery of the kitten, and figures out how to convince her family to keep the kitten. I love Elsa’s character. She is smart and compassionate, but she is full of anxiety about moving to a new house. She learns to have more confidence and build stronger bonds with her family. I was impressed with her simple but powerful character development.
3 out of 5 stars Maylie is finding it difficult to write a story, any story. She has plenty of ideas, but keeps second-guessing herself when she starts to write. Hoping to find inspiration, she goes on a trip to London with her aunt, her grandmother, and her twin brother, Camden.
Maylie is a great character. I liked being inside her head and seeing all her fears and anxieties, and how she manages to overcome those things. I liked Aunt Layla because she is always encouraging and inspiring. Camden got on my nerves (just like he is supposed to) as the annoying brother character, but I could also see hidden depths in his personality reminding me that he is more than just an immature class clown. There is some good character development for both Maylie and Camden.
Badger has a simple and quiet life studying rocks and doing Important Rock Work. One day Skunk shows up on Badger’s doorstep as his new roommate, and Badger’s quiet life is thrown into chaos. Skunk cooks delicious meals, but dirties up the kitchen. Skunk moves furniture around and recycles all the cardboard boxes that Badger was saving. Skunk invites guests over for a story-time popcorn party until the house is overrun with chickens! Badger is torn between enjoying all the excitement and being angry with Skunk for his wild behavior. How will these two roommates ever find a way to live together in harmony?
I loved this book so much! It reminds me of one of my favorite animal books, “Wind in the Willows”. There is a quiet character and an adventurous character, and they learn to be friends.
The character development is fantastic! Badger goes through a whole internal journey as his world begins to open up and he realizes just how isolated he has become. He is initially dismayed at Skunk’s antics, but also enjoys the good food and companionship that comes into his house. Skunk makes him think differently about his life and see things from a new perspective. I love the warmth of their friendship and how they laugh together.
This adorable story follows Martin, a farmyard cat who doesn’t want to eat mice. Instead, Martin begins keeping a pet mouse confined in a bathtub, until he learns just how awful it is to imprisoned as a pet.
I loved the delightful writing style with all the humor and silly situations that Martin goes through. Poor Martin is quite clueless when it comes to the workings of a farm, and forgets the proper place of each animal. This leads to a lot of ridiculously funny dialogue with various farm animals.
This would be a wonderful book to read aloud, with different voices for the cows, sheep, pigs, and ducks all around the farm.
I found the plot to be interesting and surprising, despite its simplicity and straightforward story-telling style. A very enjoyable read!
One cold winter, when the Finch family moves into their new house, Mr. Finch and his son find a tiny volcano in the cellar, pumping heat and steam into the house instead of a furnace. They decide to keep it a secret, so as not to alarm the ladies of the family, but when the summer heat makes the volcano unbearable, Mrs. Finch and her daughter are determined to know why their house is always so hot! The townsfolk begin to suspect that Mr. Finch is hiding something huge in his cellar, and they pester him for answers. Mr. Finch has to decide whether or not the volcano is a threat to the town, but his children have something to say about that too!
I loved all the clever little details about a family living in a house with volcanic activity! The snow melts off their roof, and their plants bloom in the winter. There are strange updrafts and strong winds surrounding their house as the steam rises from their cellar. All those details were so fun to read about! Continue reading →
I remember loving this book when I was a kid, and I fantasized about spending the night in a library.
Jo-Beth and Mary Rose are sisters who get stranded in a library during a blizzard. The library displays and mannequins depicting literary characters are creepy in the dark, and there are weird noises coming from upstairs. The sisters find an injured librarian, and have to use all their common sense to help her and get themselves rescued from the blizzard.
The simple writing style makes this a perfect book for young children who are reading chapter books. While the sisters are mildly frightened at every mysterious sound in the old library, the reader never really feels scared. It’s just suspenseful and interesting enough to keep you guessing, but will not give a kid nightmares.
I really love that each of the characters have their own prickly and funny personalities. Their dialogue is hilarious!