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Unread 09-29-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Default Animal Ark #01: Kittens In The Kitchen (Animal Ark Hauntings)

Customer Review: Tedious detail, awful imagery, not for young children
My 7 yr old brought this home from the library. Cute furry kittens on the cover and a cute title. But the story has so much detail about every house and scene that the story is incredibly slow. The characters are all small town and portrayed as odd and grumbly. Here is some text "Good thing it's Sunday...he never swears on Sunday, otherwise the air in the kitchen would be as blue as that shirt." What? The reference is to Mr. Williams who is a school janitor but seemingly hates small creatures and is not that thrilled with children. When he was little they "drowned kittens in a rainbarrel behind the barn." In nearly every other page of this cumbersome 147 page book, some reference to death is made, usually about the impending death of the kittens if Mandy doesn't find a home for them. Oh and there's the side story about the squirrel being run over by a car leaving an orphaned squirrel baby. Come on! Did I mention the butcher shop? My children are 4 and 7 and since I have to edit this book heavily as read it aloud, I only recommend it for much older children, if that. Too bad, it has some good ideas like Mandy's resourcefulness creating signs for finding homes for the kittens. But really my strong advice is to skip this one.
Customer Review: Great Book!
This is the first in the Animal Ark series. "Kittens in the Kitchen" features as a heroine, Mandy, daughter of two veterinarians in rural England. Surrounded by pets and wildlife, Mandy is predisposed toward a great interest in animals of all kinds. Her natural curiosity and determination serve Mandy well in finding and helping animals in need. In "Kittens in the Kitchen", Mandy and her friend James come to the aid of a stray cat. The stray has found refuge outside the cottage of the curt and distinctly unfriendly school custodian, Mr. Williams. Mr Williams is certainly not a cat lover, and when he arrives home to find not only the stray, but a litter of kittens atop his best shirt in the laundry basket, things don't look very hopeful. Mandy and James step in to care for the new mother and her kittens, and are faced with the daunting tasks of finding good homes for all before Mr. Williams decides to "get rid of them". "Kittens in the Kitchen", like all in the Animal Ark series, features determined, intelligent kids that care about animals. This is a chapter book that your independent reader will enjoy for the positive role models and suspenseful storyline, as well as the lovable animals. The publisher has classified this a book for ages 9 to 12. Despite the guidelines, "Kittens in the Kitchen" is a story the entire family will enjoy.

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