Sunday, April 17, 2011

Circle C Beginnings - review

I recently got to read the third and fourth books in the Circle C Beginnings series... a spin-off of Susan K. Marlow's Circle C Adventures for older readers. The Circle C Beginnings series is based on the same characters, but at a younger age. They are perfect for children who are just beginning to read chapter books. The stories are about a little girl in the old west, and are full of fun, excitement and adventure. The characters and situations are believable, and while Andi does find herself in all kinds of scrapes, she is never deliberately bratty, and grows in life experience the way we all do... by learning from her mistakes. Even though the main character is a little girl, the stories are not at all girly, and boys would enjoy them just as much as girls.

In Andi's Fair Surprise (Book 3), Andi is very excited to get to attend the state fair with her family. Everyone else is taking something to enter in the fair, and Andi is disappointed that she has nothing to enter. Once she arrives, though, and discovers all the fun things to see and do, she has a wonderful time. She even wins a very special prize, which she would dearly love to keep. However, Mother knows best (as usual) and Andi learns another life lesson. I especially enjoyed the historical aspect of this particular story regarding the 1874 California State Fair in Sacramento.

In Andi's Scary School Days (Book 4), Andi has to go to school for the first time. School is not at all what she's used to, and she is very nervous about the whole experience. What if the teacher is mean? What if the other kids laugh at her? Her misunderstandings and insecurities get her into trouble, but she soon makes a new friend and discovers that the teacher is really a nice lady after all.

As in all the books in this series, I love the illustrations. They are soft pencil sketches that remind me of Garth Williams' illustrations of the Little House books. Just beautiful!

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