Saturday, August 8, 2015

Escape from Baxters' Barn by Rebecca Bond

Burdock was cold.  Cats don't like to be cold, so he heads for a warmer place.  Sleeping alone in the barn is nippy.  If he climbs up on the house roof, he can go in the partially open upstairs bathroom window and sneak down by the stove.  As long as he hides behind the stove he's safe.  Or so he thinks...

HMH Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book.  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Ms. Bond does a wonderful job with this story and her artwork is special.  I felt so bad about Burdock's missing eye.  He does fine without it, though.  And there's nothing wrong with his hearing.  What he hears as he hides behind the stove is the two brothers fighting with each other.  The final words he hears sends a chill down his spine:  One of the brothers wants to burn the barn down for the insurance money!  That's where he and the animals live.  Will he let them go before he starts the fire?  Burdock panics and heads back to the barn to share the news.

This is a really special story because all the animals work together on a plan to escape the barn.  They may not have anywhere to go, but they don't want to die in the barn so they have plenty of incentive.  They plan, they work on their parts in the plan, and Burdock watches the remaining brother to see how soon the barn will burn.  When an owl falls into the barn from the rafters, they help it, too.  The owl knows of another barn and their plan solidifies.

You learn about team work, self-worth, sacrifice and success in this story.  The animals also get a happily ever after so it's a good read.  Ms. Bond makes the animals seem alive and as intelligent as people.  I enjoyed this read and would give Burdock a good pet if he was around me.

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