I took my family to the state fair last weekend. We had a great time walking through the animal paddocks looking at cows, sheep, chickens and so much more. So I am going to stay with animal inspired reviews for a little longer.
“LaRue Across America: Postcards from the Vacation”
For Ages 4 – 8
Ike LaRue fans cheer! He's back on an eventful trip across the country with none other than Mrs. Hibbins' cats. Rated 4 (pets, travel, imagination)
We catch up with Ike as he and his owner, Gertrude, are preparing for a vacation cruise. All goes awry when their neighbor Mrs. Hibbins is hospitalized. Gertrude volunteers to watch her cats, cancels the cruise and begins a cross-country road trip instead. Sounds like a good idea with two cats and a dog, right?
What’s good: Masterful illustration style, sense of humor and smart story.
What’s bad: Slightly choppy pacing.
When a mysterious box and message show up, Leo learns that he has four days to discover four hidden boxes and save the hotel. From what, he does not know. That’s when the really odd stuff begins. Leo’s adventures take him to hidden floors, hidden rooms, hidden elevators and much more. Ghosts, fire-breathing dragons and flying goats make appearances during the search for boxes. There is a sense of danger but no real threat. A disgustingly mean hotel manager, an incredibly bratty hotel guest and a true friendship round out the tale. This book has everything, including depth to the characters. My kids had me read it with them twice during the first week we had it. And we enjoyed it both times.
What’s good: Extreme imagination and pure fun.
What’s bad: Old plot presented in a new fashion.