Sunday, May 10, 2009

children's book review: annie's adventures

Annie's Adventures is the first in the new series The Sisters 8 by Laruren Baratz-Logsted. It's the story of octuplets (far more lovable than the infamous real-life octuplets). Our heroines were born on August 8th, 2000. They each have a cat. Their last name is Huit (French for 8). It's a numerology bonanza. They were born one minute apart, and the total difference in their height is one inch (meaning the oldest, Annie, is eight inches taller than her eight minutes younger sister).

Our story begins on New Year's Eve, when our beloved octuplets notice their father went out to get more wood for the fire quite a while ago, and their mother went to get eggnog quite a while ago. The girls soon discover a note, telling them they each have a gift, and they each much find a present to uncover the secret to where their parents are.

The story is a mix of reality (how the not-yet-eight-year-olds must learn to function as adults so as not alarm neighbors, teachers, etc. that there parents are missing) and humor (their mother, a scientist, has a dimwitted robot maid who doesn't follow directions well) and fantasy (they're smart enough to fool adults). The overall affect is a delightful combination of realism, fantasy and humor sure to delight the intended audience, but clever enough to satisfy their parents.

There are eight girls with eight cats, which means there are sixteen names to learn and try to keep straight in the 130-odd page text. There are occasional pictures (see the gorgeous cover) that are beautifully done. It seems the series will be at least eight parts, one devoted to each of the Huit sisters. I will warn you: I am enamored by this series, and I don't want to wait for all eight to be published. Start reading at your own peril; we won't find out where the parents are for quite a few more books. In the meantime though, enjoy.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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