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.
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.
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!