DEAR WHISKERS by Ann Whitehead Nagda

DEAR WHISKERS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nagda (Tiger Territory: A Story of the Chitwan Valley, 1999) offers middle readers a taste of the pleasures and rewards of helping others. The assignment: to write a letter from a mouse and send it to a penpal in second grade. Unlike her overachieving neighbor Susan, fourth grader Jenny has trouble thinking of things to write, and the exercise becomes even less appealing when her correspondent Sameera returns either perfunctory responses or none at all. After some gentle teacherly prodding, Jenny plods down the hall to meet Sameera, who turns out to be a shy, sullen new arrival from Saudi Arabia with only a few words of English. Soon, almost despite herself, Jenny is sharing favorite picture books with Sameera, writing more letters, and, after a flash of inspiration, sharing homemade mouse cookies—a ploy that not only breaks through Sameera’s reserve, but attracts the rest of the second graders too. Jenny earns a commendation from her own teacher, and to the envy of her classmates, an invitation to spend a period baking more cookies in the teachers’ lounge! Roth plants smiling, natural-looking people into everyday settings, perfectly capturing this episode’s relaxed, uncontrived atmosphere. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2000
ISBN: 0-8234-1495-7
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2000




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