Eight-year-old Olivia (who had her birthday this month) now has a new favorite series that she is devouring: the Harriet Bean books by Alexander McCall Smith. I found them at the online library site while I was checking on the availability of his Akimbo series (of which they only have one), and hoped she might like them.
The other night she dashed into the family room, gripping the first book, and exclaimed in an excited way, "This is SUCH a good book! I've been so absorbed in it!" Yes, she really did say that, and yes, she was. She lay on her bed all evening and read the book from cover to cover. It's so fun to see kids connect with books. When she was done, she handed it to me and said, "Mom, you've got to read this!" And I will, so we can talk about it together.
But since I haven't finished it, and Olivia is anxious to tell everyone about it, I asked Olivia to do a quick review of the book she liked so much. Here is what she has to say about it, synopsis and all:
Written by Alexander McCall Smith
Illustrated by Laura Rankin
Harriet Bean lives with her absentminded inventor father. She learns, for the first time, that she has five aunts, her father's sisters. She takes an interest in that right away, especially when her father shows her a unfinished portrait of his family, and wants to know where they are. When her father tells her he has lost touch with them, she decides to take matters into her own hands, knowing her father is too absentminded to do so. She decides to write to the one aunt her father still has an old address for. Join Harriet Bean as she goes in search of her five lost aunts and tries to bring the family together again.
The way she went about finding the lost aunts was very interesting. And I thought she was clever in how she got her father to talk about his sisters. She discovered that the only way to get her absentminded father to talk about her aunts was to keep feeding him buttered scones and peppering him with questions. That's how she kept getting bits of the story from him. Isn't that funny? When she finds the aunts, she discovers they all have interesting jobs, but I'll let that be a surprise. I just loved this book. I hope you will, too.