Reviews by Pam Heller
For Younger Readers
Bits and Pieces
by Judy Schachner
This is the story of an old cat named Tink and his affectionately devoted family. Tink may be found digging in a plant, jumping into a board game, licking a stick of butter, eating rubber bands or other household items. You see, Tink is not terribly bright but he does feel his life is filled with everything a cat could possibly want. That is, until Tink is taken to the vet after an especially “goat-like” eating adventure, and he becomes fixated by the wonders of the great outdoors. So on his 20th birthday, he sneaks out for a day of frolicking that turns into a night of confused wandering. Ultimately, he is saved by two local girls who protect him from being taken to the shelter and is returned to the loving arms of his family. Cat lovers will enjoy this heartwarming story. For ages 3 to 6.
by Peter McCarty
Fall is a time of cool breezes, falling leaves, yellow school buses and…football! This is a delightful romp with eight primary school-aged children through an after-school pick-up game in the park complete with ball-chasing dogs and neatly raked piles of leaves. For adults, this story is a trip down a pleasant memory lane; and for children, this is an introduction to the simple pleasures to be enjoyed during the changing of seasons. The watercolor, pen-and-ink illustrations enhance the experience with crispness and whimsy. For ages 4 to 8.
For Older Readers
The Mouse With The Question Mark Tail
by Richard Peck
Follow the adventures of Mouse Minor, an orphaned mouse living during the Victorian era, as he sets out on a quest to discover the answers to the mystery of his origin. Raised next to Buckingham Palace, he attends a prestigious school, however, he runs away when he is bullied by his classmates for being different. He encounters many dangers and ultimately finds the answers for many of his questions in the Queen’s private quarters. This story makes an engaging read-aloud experience. Enhanced by factual events, this reading journey also offers additional opportunities for historical research. For ages 8 to 12.
How to Catch a Bogle
by Catherine Jinks
This is the first volume in a proposed trilogy set in Victorian London. Ten-year-old Birdie McAdam loves her job… even though it is extremely dangerous. She is an apprentice to Alfred the Bogler; her job is to use her sweet singing voice to lure bogles out into the open where Alfred can kill them with his spear. Bogles are dangerous creatures that snatch up unsuspecting orphaned children. Ms. Eames, an expert in English folklore, offers Birdie the opportunity to live with her to study music, be educated in the social graces and escape this dangerous lifestyle that is growing more treacherous with each encounter. What will the courageous Birdie decide? Are the bogles really responsible for the disappearance of children? Who can she trust? For ages 10 to 14.