A young mischief-maker manages to get herself out of mishaps.
Six-year-old Hattie lives with her loving parents in a red house in Sweden. Their town is “far out in the middle of nowhere.” Hattie loves that she’s started school. She rides on the bus, does well, and makes friends. Each brief chapter in this gently comical novel describes various escapades Hattie gets up to, often alone, sometimes with her best pal. Readers will be intrigued by Hattie’s adventures and will note that each one offers a glimpse into her conscience and lively, persevering personality. Not coincidentally, the incidents advance Hattie’s character development, though she remains a child her age. Like most kids, Hattie can be peevish, has a playful, creative imagination, enjoys testing her limits, and doesn’t usually foresee or understand the consequences of impulsivity. Still, when events don’t conclude the way she’d hoped or planned, Hattie gets sad, angry, or annoyed with herself, learning lessons probably no grown-ups could teach better. Readers will note Hattie’s rarely scolded; however, adults are often oblivious to her activities, and she does chide herself. This fast-paced, amusing charmer, with clipped sentences that promote quick reading, is a Swedish import via New Zealand and offers interesting insight into some Nordic customs. Loose black-line illustrations add humor and suggest that all characters are white. An interview with the author appears in the backmatter.
Readers will appreciate getting to know Hattie. (Fiction. 7-10)