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Summary: Lucy, an ant, lives in a beautiful place with palm trees and brightly-colored flowers. She has a pet ladybug, good friends, and nice neighbors. Lucy likes to be prepared. Her friend Lola, though, didn't worry about such things. Lola enjoyed each day as it came. So when a hurricane struck Green Village, Lola had no food or water for several days. Now, finally, she understood why Lucy had tried to warn her. This is a fictional story that includes information about being prepared for hurricane season.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 11
Interest Level: 5 to 8
Reading Level: 5.3
Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: We had lots of questions about hurricanes and lots of "tisk tisks" for Lola, as our daughter easily predicted that there would be a hurricane.
Adult Reader Reaction: This story has strong messages about friendship and being prepared for emergencies, but they are not over-done. The factual information in the back is also helpful. That said, the story is a bit trite and the effort to be cute with the ant and cricket is a very babyish for an audience that knows what a "homework page" is.
Pros: The story offers excellent information about what happens in a hurricane and how to prepare for hurricanes and, by extension, other emergencies.
Cons: There is a disconnect between who will read the book and its audience. The book is written for an older audience, both in vocabulary and text length; yet that audience will see the author as talking down with the cuteness.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The book has very good nonfiction data that help make the book useful.
Educational Themes: This is a good book to share at the beginning of hurricane season, as it has an excellent checklist kids can use to be part of the "get ready" effort. The author also opens the door to talking about friendship and personal choice.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, life lessons
Date(s) Reviewed: November 2009
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