Title: The Kitten That Won First PrizeThe-Kitten-That-Won-First-Prize
Author: Ben M. Baglio
Pages: 148
Recommended Ages: 9-10
Star Rating: ★★★★

The Kitten That Won First Prize is comprised of nine short stories which all have the same characters but which record different animal related adventures.

The Story.

Nine stories, really.

1)      Sheepdog on Show in which Ken Hudson’s border collie, Tess, must compete against Dora Janeki’s champion dog, Whistler, for first prize at the local competition.

2)      Hamster on the Run in which Henry the Eighth, the class pet at Mandy’s school, has disappeared and the children must track him down.

3)      Pony Express! in which Dr. Adams has forgotten the serum necessary to treat Tom Hapwell’s cow, and the only way to get it to him is for Susan to ride Prince on a mad cross-country trek.

4)      That Horror, Houdini! in which Amy Fawcett is dreading the snobby Imogen Parker Smythe’s birthday, but it turns exciting when Amy’s pet goat, Houdini shows up for the festivities, too!

5)      Bravo, Blackie! in which a little puppy is drowning in Miller’s Pond and Jamie’s half-trained lab, Blackie is the only one who can possibly save him.

6)      Donkey Dilemma in which Dorian the Donkey is in danger of being sent to the slaughter unless Mandy can convince Mr. Nolan of Dorian’s value.

7)      Amber Takes the Prize in which Alex wants to enter her kitten, Amber, in the ‘Best Kitten’ competition at the fair, but must race to make Amber the proper costume.

8)      Bunny Trouble in which Imogen’s pet rabbit, Bubble, has disappeared and Imogen decides that John Hardy has kidnapped her.

9)      Mrs. Ponsonby’s Ghost in which Mandy and James must unravel the mystery of the swishing noises Mrs. Ponsonby has been hearing in the night.

Cautions.

The theme of one story has to do with a ghost – the ghost of Mrs. Ponsonby’s great-great uncle. In the end it is proved that what was making the noises she heard were a colony of rare bats that took up residence in her attic. A few of the scenes in the story are slightly scary, but not very.

It is said that a little boy sat down and played a computer game.

Conclusion. Not high quality literature, but innocent.

Review © 2012 Laura Verret

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