Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Alice's Shooting Star by Tim Kennemore, illustrated by Mike Spoor

I've given this a brief review before, but a good book deserves another look!
In Alice's Birthday Pig, Alice triumphs over teasing and gets her dream pet. In Alice's World Record, she wins out over her perfect(ly irritating) older brother and sees a whole new side of him.

In her third adventure, we get a good look at her relationship with her little sister Rosie. In the past, Alice has kind of resented Rosie getting away with all the things nobody else would even dream of doing. Rosie is the star, the cute one, the little sister who shines. But now that she's growing older, Alice is starting to see her as a person and maybe as a friend. Alice especially loves Rosie's wild imagination and the magical stories and language she brings home from nursery school. But their parents are worried about Rosie's "lies." Oliver tries to logically explain the difference between fact and fiction; their parents make her a truth-telling chart. Alice privately thinks they should just enjoy Rosie's silly stories and leave her alone. Especially when she gets stuck coaching Rosie in her part in the upcoming school production. In a final wild whirl of hilarious events, Alice is, for the first time her life, in the spotlight.

There's a lot packed into this little story. The illustrations catch the various characters' expressions and personalities perfectly and blend smoothly to enhance the text, the function of every beginning chapter book illustration. There's Alice's struggles as a middle child trying to find what makes her unique and where she belongs, especially when she's sandwiched between two very outgoing and assertive siblings. Alice's relationship with her sister Rosie is a perfect mixture of older sibling exasperation and growing friendship as she begins to see Rosie as a person. And the story is just plain funny. From Rosie's insane stories, to Oliver's ridiculous sulks, to the final laugh-out-loud catastrophe, this book will keep the reader giggling all the way through.

Verdict: Kids who love realistic and funny stories and anyone who's ever wished they could do something out of the ordinary will gulp down the Alice stories and ask for more!

ISBN: 0802853374; Published March 2009 by Eerdmans; Review copy provided by the publisher for Cybils; Purchased for the library; Added to my personal collection

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