I first discovered this funny beginning chapter book trilogy almost 10 years ago. Not only was it hilarious and spot-on, it was not overwhelmingly British and it has a guinea pig!
Alice, in addition to her wacky little sister Rosie and her supercilious older brother Oliver, has a problem - she can't pronounce "animal". When her teacher announces that the class topic will be farm animals, Alice gloomily looks forward to a semester of teasing. And when her class takes a field trip to a farm and Alice finds an unexpectedly adorable little pig, she knows that more disappointments are in store. However, in a surprise ending, Alice gets her a pet, Oliver is vanquished, and even Rosie is temporarily dismayed.
This is a classic "in the middle" story; Alice's trials and triumphs as a middle child and her longing for a pet of her own will resonate with children no matter their birth order! The illustrations are sweet and just a little zany, just like Alice's family.
Who will read this? Beginning chapter readers who are fluent but not ready for longer books; kids who enjoy funny family stories, and any kids who have sibling woes.
Bring it back? Well....I'd love it to be available, but I have to admit it has not circulated in my library as I'd hoped, even when I used it for a book club. It's a little challenging for the reading level of most kids who are reading beginning chapters and there are a lot of beginning chapter series out there. It's a great read-aloud but there are plenty of copies still floating around.
Availability? The trilogy is out of print, but it's available as a digital audio (which I personally own). My library still owns the hardcovers, which are in good condition.
ISBN: 978-0802853356; Published March 2008 by Eerdmans