Starring in Hound of the Baskervilles
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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Cute and lightly amusing though not as funny as its predecessor (Starring in Just a Little Extra, 2000, etc.), this time Annabel, Conford’s can-do budding actress heroine, is offered a part in an interactive mystery play. Annabel, who lives by the motto “no part too big or too small,” is thrilled at the opportunity, but when she arrives at her first rehearsal, isn’t happy to discover that she’ll be sharing the stage with Binky, a gigantic dog who drools by the bucketful. Ever game, Annabel comforts herself with the notion that her favorite star, Winona McCall, had to deal with wild rhinoceroses and leopards in her last movie, while she just has “to work with a huge dog the size of a Jeep.” Aptly illustrated by Andriani’s droll black-and-white drawings, the humor in this series is fueled by Annabel’s comic obsession to perform no matter what obstacles are thrown her way. And Conford piles them on, having her young heroine cope not only with Binky, but a ridiculous bunny costume and finally, on the night of the performance, heckling from her hateful classmate Lowell Boxer. But Annabel, who is intelligent and resourceful, proves to be a “real trooper,” and her quick thinking saves the day. Particularly good is that Annabel’s idea is both credible and childlike, the kind of save that an actual kid could come up with. Sadly, despite the fact that the Conford’s production is smooth and professional, it’s also rather hollow, technically on point but lacking her special brand of energized sparkle. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-84734-3
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2002


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