THE CASE OF THE MARMALADE CAT
Volume 19 Number 4
Take out the extraneous dialogue and a few minor plot developments, and you could easily whittle this story down into a selection suitable for a grade 4 or 5 basal reader.
The two main characters, Clarice and Sadie, are on a mission to recover a missing cat belonging to (you guessed it) a witch. They bring along a side-kick named Brick, who starts out as an interesting character with some good lines, but fades rapidly. In their quest to recover the missing feline, they encounter some remarkably ordinary obstacles.
There are a few good bits of description and dialogue early in the book, but other than that, things just never get going. Several times throughout the book there are the beginnings of some imaginative story-telling. The revelation of Brick's unusual past, Clarice's sixth sense, and a mean-spirited neighbour are examples. But none of this stuff ever comes together, and so the story turns out to be disappointingly flat and the characters superficial. For seven- to ten-year-olds, this book may provide a simple episodic kind of entertainment.
David H. Elias, Winnipeg, MB.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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