Bette's Reviews > Whittington

Whittington by Alan Armstrong
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's review
Feb 16, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: children-s
Read from February 16 to 17, 2011

This book is in the tradition of EB White's classic "Charlotte's Web." However, it is not in the same league, despite its Newbery honor award. There are too many stories going on at once. There's the story of the animals in the barn, which isn't much of a story. There's the story of "Dick Whittington & His Cat," told by his descendant, Whittington. And then there's Ben's battle with dyslexia, which seems put in the book to give hope to kids with reading difficulties. I see how Dick Whittington's success story is an inspiration to Ben, but to me the story just didn't hang together. Moreover, there were some illogical aspects to the animal-human relationships. Why some people can talk to and hear the animals and vice versa isn't consistent. The cat in the Dick Whittington story doesn't talk to Dick until 3/4 of the way through the story. Why suddenly? Why doesn't the dog Havey talk to the humans in the current story? I felt that Armstrong didn't think through the fantasy aspects of the story well enough. I'll stick w/ "Charlotte's Web"!
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