MIRETTE & BELLINI CROSS NIAGARA FALLS by Emily Arnold McCully

MIRETTE & BELLINI CROSS NIAGARA FALLS

Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Feisty Mirette and Bellini have another high-wire adventure, this time at Niagara Falls, where they face dastardly treachery, but come through with skill and courage. Mirette and Bellini cross the ocean first class, as befits their fame and talent, but Mirette befriends Jakob, a boy in steerage who admires the tightrope walkers as they practice on deck. Jakob, an orphan, is traveling to New York City to live with an uncle. When the uncle does not arrive at Ellis Island, Bellini and Mirette vouch for him and take him to Niagara Falls so that he is not returned to his native land. There, Jakob is instrumental in uncovering the plot of the wicked Mr. Patch, a rival wirewalker, who sabotages Bellini’s tight rope and almost causes the death of both performers. The happy ending includes triumph for Bellini, disgrace for Patch, the reunion of Jakob and his uncle, and the hint that Jakob will return in future adventures. McCully’s watercolor and pastel illustrations are better than the plot. Depictions of life on the ship, at Niagara Falls, and on Ellis Island give the historical context and an interesting background to the plot. Balloon insertions give detail in the larger scenes and effectively extend the story. A weak addition to the series. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-399-23348-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000




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