Ethel’s New Home
The illustrations are simply adorable, although the layout (exchange of text and images) is better in the first half of the book. The writer's narration finds the right balance between simplicity and complexity. The children might appreciate a bit more dialogue, especially between the siblings, because they usually relish in acting, and the story lends itself to role play so easily. The scene when Ethel runs into the cat offers an excellent role-playing opportunity.
The ending is gratifying, as Ethel is safely back home with her loving family, and the pets even get a bigger home. I believe parents will enjoy reading and discussing this with their children, learning and teaching about sharing, patience and appreciating the safety of home.
Growing up in a large family myself, I can wholeheartedly relate to this little hamster's troubles. She's on a journey to find her place in her world, in her home, and she decides to run away. Ultimately she discovers that there truly is no place like home.
As I mentioned, the illustrations in this picture book are beautiful and the story has an admirable premise. Even though there were a few minor glitches in the grammar and punctuation, these didn't take away from the story's message. I read this to my ten-year-old daughter and she enjoyed it.
I would definitely share this story with the kids in my center and I recommend it to parents or educators of young children.