Friday, June 5, 2015

Owl Diaries: Eva's Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott

This is a new Branches series, which is supposed to be a "branch" from easy readers to chapters. It's one of the easier ones, aimed at kids just starting to transition from easy readers to chapters.

Eva loves her new diary, her school and being busy. She does not love being bored, mean Sue Clawson, or her brother's stinky socks. Also, she thinks being an owl is pretty cool. When Eva gets bored, she gets a great idea - to have a spring festival at school! But she soon finds herself overwhelmed. Will the festival ever happen or will it be a total disaster? Will she have to ask for help from mean Sue Clawson and her friends?

The backgrounds of lined paper emphasize the "diary" aspect of this although the heavily illustrated pages don't really seem to add to the brief text. There are copious owl puns, lots of owls in cute glasses and outfits, and organizational charts and notes as Eva tries to get the festival under control. The plot itself is predictable and the characters are very stereotypical.

Verdict: This is cute, but lacks substance. If you are really in need of transitional series and have readers who will like this type of fluff, go for it. Otherwise I'd stick with Branches' more substantive series.

ISBN: 9780545683630; Published January 2015 by Branches/Scholastic; ARC provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter 2015

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