Review Detail

Get ready for summer
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Cody is ready to enjoy summer even though her mother is up for a promotion as head of footwear and works long hours, and her father is a long distance trucker and not home all that often. She gets to stay with her older brother, Wyatt, who is pretty nice as far as older brothers go. She also meets Spencer, who has come to stay with his grandmother, when his cat Mew Mew runs away. Cody is not looking forward to going to summer camp, so is glad when it is canceled, but she has to have a babysitter when Wyatt goes to a science camp. Her sitter turns out to be the sparkly Payton Underwood on whom her brother is crushing! Cody tells Spencer that she will hypnotize Mew Mew so he won't run away again, but the cat does take off and is lost, but luckily Cody finds him in her back yard. Her mother is a bit stressed and beset by the "whim whams" on occasion, but Cody has a strong family, good friends, and is generally a happy and well-adjusted little girl.

This had a very classic, B is for Betsy vibe to it, with the simple text and cute pictures that illustrate important moments in the text. For emergent readers, this is a good balance, and the happy story will resonate with readers.

The characters are all delightfully drawn and have their own quirks—Wyatt’s obsession with Payton, Cody’s unrelenting optimism, her mother’s habit of cradling an ash tray when she is stressed. This is a gentle story, more about how the characters react to small, ordinary events rather than a complicated novel with lots of twists and turns. Again, just the thing for beginning readers who are more comfortable with the type of world they know than a convoluted fantasy or mystery world.

This is a perfect summer read, especially for the first day of summer vacation, and would be made even better if the reader could be supplied with a sunny porch, a cold glass of lemonade, and a cat who doesn’t run away!
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