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LAWN MOWER MAGIC by Lynne Jonell


by Lynne Jonell & illustrated by Brandon Dorman

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86661-6
Publisher: Random House

The four Willow children attempt to tame an old-fashioned reel lawn mower with an enormous appetite for grass.

The family’s move to the country has been expensive, and money is tight. When the power mower dies, it seems that buying a new one will take precedence over buying a train ticket for Derek to go visit his old friends. Abner, Tate and Celia are fine siblings. Although they don't want to play the games he likes, they’re willing to help their brother by using an old mower they found in the shed. The four of them, plus Celia's stuffed rabbit, make a great team. Taking turns and then working together, they hang on desperately, steering the mower as it gobbles up the green and stopping it before it does too much damage to the vegetable garden or farmer Wopter's alfalfa field. Short chapters and plentiful black-and-white illustrations (not seen), plus the suspense that comes with the realization that “Mowey” is out of control, will carry new readers along. This traditional family adventure provides a touch of magic and the satisfying sense that kids on their own can accomplish something.

Second in a promising series that began with Hamster Magic (2010) this is a good stepping stone to more challenging reading. (Fantasy. 6-9)