Title: Only OpalOnly Opal
Author: Opal Whiteley
Illustrator: Barbara Cooney
Pages: 31
Reading Level: Beginner
Star Rating: ★★

Opal’s parents died when she was very young. Now she lives with another set of parents – but they do not like her very much. They think that she is a nuisance and that she does not work hard enough.

Opal tries very hard, but she is somehow never good enough. She seeks comfort in the company of her pets – Felix Mendelssohn the mouse, Elizabeth Barrett Browning her calf, and Lars Porsena the crow. But what will happen to all of them when the new parents decide to move away?

Discussion.

Opal says of her parents, “Angel Mother and Angel Father taught me. I think sometimes Kind God just opens the gates of Heaven and lets them come out to be Guardian Angels for a while.” [pg. 6] She also says of a tree that “he has an understanding soul.” [pg. 12]

Conclusion. The illustrations are very sweet, but the story is morose. Your call.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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