CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 13 . . . .March 3, 2006
As the excerpt indicates, this is the beginning of the deliveries to Mrs. Lombardi’s house across the street from Casey Little. Mrs. Lombardi knows a lot about her neighbors. She knows Casey wants to buy a horse, Lightning, but needs to come up with $1500 by Saturday. She knows that Casey’s best friend, Mickey, loves donuts. She knows that Casey was a yo-yo champ but froze on stage and no longer performs.
Mrs. Lombardi is sponsoring a carnival as a welcome to the neighborhood. As part of the celebration, there will be a yo-yo competition with a first prize of $1500. Casey finds her yo-yo but is undecided about signing up. When Mrs. Lombardi asks Casey’s help with registrations, Casey decides it is worth a try. Deirdre and her father, Geronimo, have purchased Lightning. Deirdre, who is stuck-up, plans to take the horse to Montreal. Casey thinks Mrs. Lombardi might be magic because she seems to know things. In doing research with Mickey at the library, Casey finds a spell which will take away stage fright. Events don’t go as planned, but things end up as they should.
The characters are realistic within situations that are plausible. The magic is uncertain with other possible explanations. We liked the wink between Mrs. Lombardi and Casey - “a just between you and me wink” - and then the same wink at the ending when Sybil comes to live in Mrs. Lombardi’s house. The reader is given the idea that events are developing as they should. The magic is a mystery which becomes one of the plot lines. The other plots evolve around Casey’s love of Lightning and her desire to purchase the horse, her stage fright, her ability to win the yo-yo competition and her animosity with Deirdre.
There are several black and white drawings which add to the enjoyment of the text. The print is large and easy to read, making this a good choice for the intended readers. Language is effective and appropriate. The content is interesting yet easy to read and follow. We would recommend this book to other students. particularly those who like horse stories or mysteries. It would be a good choice for public, school and personal libraries.
Deborah Mervold is a retired teacher-librarian, educator and Resource Based Learning Consultant in Shellbrook, SK. Kessa Gerein is a Grade 3 student in Saskatoon, SK.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.