Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Caterina and the best beach day by Erin Eitter Kono

I really liked the first two Caterina books, Caterina and the Perfect Party and Caterina and the Lemonade Stand, but although the illustrations for this third title were as sweet as ever, the book fell short of my expectations for the series.

Caterina and Leo are on their way to the beach. They have lots of plans, including, hopefully, seeing a whale. But Caterina gets so caught up in plans and preparations, she forgets to have fun or look for whales. Will the day be ruined, or will Leo remind her what's important?

In the previous two books, Caterina was definitely a planner, but she was much more flexible and adaptable. Both of them dealt with practical things too - planning a party, earning money. This one just felt like it didn't fit. The story line pushes Caterina way over into the "obsessive, anal organizer who doesn't know how to have fun" stereotype and there's also more fantasy elements. That sounds kind of vague, but all I can say is it just didn't fit in with the previous two titles.

The art was still as bright and full of interesting details as the previous titles. The collage style brings in lots of interesting items, textures and patterns. I especially loved the seascapes with swashes of color and designs.

Verdict: This just didn't grab me as much as the previous two books. The overall plot felt weak and didn't fit in with the series so far. If Caterina has a strong following or you need more fun beach stories, you'll want to add this title to the series, otherwise the first two are the best so far in my opinion.

ISBN: 9780803740317; Published 2015 by Dial/Penguin; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to library

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