Saturday, February 7, 2015

Backyard Witch #1: Sadie's Story by Christine Heppermann, Deborah Marcero (Illustrated by), Ron Koertge

What's Sadie to do when her two best friends have gone off to camp together and she's left home by herself?  After all, they'll be gone four days!

Greenwillow Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 21st, so make a note to grab it then.  It's the first in this new series and I love the little witch in the story!

Sadie is sitting in the house reading and holding her cat, when Wilson wants to go out.  He speeds across the yard to the playhouse.  The odd part is that it appears there is smoke coming out of the playhouse.  When she tells her dad, he checks and there's none.  He also tells her the playhouse is plastic and if it caught fire, they would smell it.  She wanders out of the house to check it out and can't believe what she finds when she looks inside:  a cauldron bubbling away and a witch stirring it!

This is a really sweet story about a lonely girl who isn't lonely anymore.  She and the witch have picnics, save the playhouse from being sold at the yard sale, and check out birds to see if they can find the witch's missing friend whose spell went wrong.  They find a lot of birds but not the one she's seeking.  They do find her missing cat, though.

My favorite part of the story was the little witch making bird sounds for Sadie and bringing birds in up close and personal so she could admire their colors.  I'm a bird watcher and have more than one bird book so I can figure out what they are.  We even get a few parrots and our southern birds that migrate through.  They're only here for a day but they are really gorgeously colored.

I hope children reading this book get inspired to do some bird watching, too.  There are more than you can imagine and some are hard to identify.  But it's fun to check them out with your binoculars and keep track of what you've seen.  Whether you're at home, near a pond or the sea, or in the desert, there are birds.  Have you seen a roadrunner lately?  They go through my yard.

Sadie creates her own bird book to record her sightings and gets her friends to look, too.  This is book one in this series and I'll be watching for book two.

Happy reading and happy birding, too.

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