Every bit as enjoyable and engrossing as the first book of Calpurnia's adventures. Once again Jacqueline Kelly's writing is studded with rich vocabulaEvery bit as enjoyable and engrossing as the first book of Calpurnia's adventures. Once again Jacqueline Kelly's writing is studded with rich vocabulary but flows with so much ease that you can sink right into it and float there for days. Each time I put this book down I hankered to pick it up again. Calpurnia's spunk and determination make her a joy to watch and a great source for empowerment. Pet lovers will find an especially keen entry point into this story, and history lovers will rejoice! Adults, to open a supremely engrossing window on this same chapter of history, read Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson. It's not for kids but there might be some pieces you could share with them - and you'll come away with a whole new understanding for the events we loosely encounter in The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate....more
An endearing ode to family, pets, and the power of storytelling, this gem of a novel just rocketed onto my all-time favorites list. I wholeheartedly aAn endearing ode to family, pets, and the power of storytelling, this gem of a novel just rocketed onto my all-time favorites list. I wholeheartedly agree with the reviewer from Booklist who gave it a star and said, "The only imperfection in this novel is that it ends." Heartwarming and utterly wonderful, it makes a terrific read-aloud and depicts one of the most loving and genuine sibling relationships I've ever seen in print. Tone-wise, it's a solid match for younger fans of Linda Urban and Rebecca Stead. I'd especially recommend it as a class read-aloud for 4th or early 5th grade. ...more
Really? Five stars? I'm giving this book five stars?? Indeed I am. Is it better than the other Invisible Inkling books, to which I gave each FOUR starReally? Five stars? I'm giving this book five stars?? Indeed I am. Is it better than the other Invisible Inkling books, to which I gave each FOUR stars? Errrrm... Yes. Maybe. I don't know. I liked those too. Possibly even five stars-worth.
Here's the deal: I read all three of these books at some point over the course of the last year, and I loved each one. But this last one? While I was reading it I got that warm, sappy "WOW, do I love this series" feeling, which is a rare and wonderful thing. I felt real concern (albeit entertained concern) for this weird, nerdy kid and his invisible pet Bandapat. Maybe it's because I'd already read two other books, and I was therefore "predisposed" to like this one more. Maybe I've just built up enough history with Hank and Inkling to care about them right out of the gate - I don't know.
But one particular passage of this book made me laugh out loud. On the subway. In front of other people. And when I read that same passage (pp. 26-27) out loud to a coworker who hadn't read ANY books in the series, it made HER laugh out loud too. Plus, the book is smart. WOW is it smart. It's smart and sensitive and funny and deeply understanding of kids' emotional needs and bewildering social dilemmas.
This is a book that touches on problems everyone has faced at some point in their lives. No, no, no! Not the "my dad owns an ice cream parlor and the lady with the ice cream whoopie pies is stealing his business" problem. Nor the "I have an invisible -- NOT imaginary! -- pet that no one can see and therefore can't know about" problem. I'm talking about "is this person a true, reliable friend or not?" problems. And "If they're NOT really a true, reliable friend, why do I want them to like me so much?" problems.
Most chapter books skate over territory like this, but not Emily Jenkins. She tackles them head on, AND with absurd humor, which is the perfect way to speak to the age group they're intended for (and to ME, apparently).
SO... YES! I am declaring the third book in the Invisible Inkling series to be worthy of five stars. If you read it and disagree, go back and read the first two, THEN read this one again -- see if having that experience changes your mind. If that doesn't do the trick, read the books aloud to a kid in your life. THAT, I predict, will make you a believer. (And to my mind it's the one litmus test that really matters!)...more