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Author: Tim Kennemore

Illustrator: Mike Spoor

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Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: If you ask Alice Singer (8 years old) is the middle of three kids. Her big brother is older, taller, and more clever, but her young sister was truly special. She adored her sister Rosie and her vivid imagination and unique descriptions of the world. Alice's parents, though, say that Rosie is lying and since lying isn't good, they will break this habit. Now, both Rosie AND Alice are frustrated. Slowly, Alice helps her family see just how creative and independent Rosie is. When Alice is tasked with helping Rosie pronounce "banana" for the holiday play, she never envisioned what her protege did on stage! This is a lightly illustrated chapter book that offers lessons in family life, fame, and creativity.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book.

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 7 to 10

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: It took a little bit to get into the book, largely because Mr. and Mrs. Singer seem a little over the top. That said, it is an enjoyable story, drawing on the silliness (the bean song) and frustration (like saying the word banana) that every child relates to. Although the book's audience is listed on a bookseller site as "9 to 12," it seems a bit simplistic for a 12-year-old given that the characters are 8 and 5.

Pros: Humor and happy endings combine in this story that kids and parents alike can enjoy together. Middle kids, in particular, will relate to Alice's story. There is lots of action to keep kids turning the page.

Cons: There are some things that seem a bit far-fetched. There are scenes where Mr. and Mrs. Singer are over-the-top strict and others where they seem to let things go.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is most definitely a good read. Kids who like/need short, fast-paced books will enjoy this.

If You Liked This Book, Try: GOLDFISH DON'T TAKE BUBBLE BATHS (Abby and Tess Pet-Sitters)   IVY AND BEAN AND THE GHOST THAT HAD TO GO (Ivy and Bean series)   NO SISTERS SISTERS CLUB (A Bailey Fish Adventure, 2)

Educational Themes: There are themes of trust, family life, and sibling dynamics. One of the interesting discussions that could come out of the book is where imagination ends and lying begins.

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2009-2010 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. It will be donated to a reader in need. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, humor, easy reader

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2009

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