Friday, January 8, 2021

Review: Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! by Marlene M Bell


by Marlene M. Bell
Illustrated by Grace Sandford
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

Nattie’s mouth was a little crooked. Her legs were a bit shorter than usual, and one horn was too straight, like a unicorn’s horn. But Mia thought Nattie was perfect.

In a read-aloud picture book for children who love animals, award-winning writer and sheep breeder Marlene M. Bell presents Nattie the lamb’s true story. MIA AND NATTIE is a heartwarming book that teaches readers about problem-solving, teamwork, and love.

On a visit to her grandma’s farm, eight-year-old Mia discovers a newborn, orphaned lamb outside in the cold and takes her to the laundry room, naming her Nattie. As she tries to nurse the lamb back to health, Mia discovers that Nattie is different from the other lambs and struggles to fit in with them like Mia does with other kids her age.

When her grandmother says she will sell Nattie to a neighbor, Mia must come up with a plan to keep her friend around—one that will show the family just how special Nattie truly is.


                                                     * enjoyable illustrations
                                                     * for animal lovers
                                                     * super cute sheep 
                                                     * message that everyone is important and special
                                                     * bond of friendship and love


It's hard not to fall in love with Nattie and wish to cuddle up next to her warm, woolly side.

Based on a true life experience and a real sheep, this picture book tells the tale of a pre-maturely born lamb and her bond to a young girl. Mia finds the newborn lamb, Nattie, and knows it doesn't have a large chance at surviving thanks to its size. Taking Nattie in, she cares for her in her kitchen until Grandmother insists the sheep needs live outside. It soon becomes clear that Nattie can't live with the other sheep and doesn't seem to have a purpose on the farm. But Mia refuses to let Nattie be sold and soon discovers exactly how valuable Nattie is.

This book is done with quality and care. The illustrations bring life to Nattie and Mia. Especially Nattie quickly becomes hard not to love with her realistic portrayal and her own, endearing personality. 

The text is age appropriate and allows each moment to come across clear, while keeping the emotions and feelings right where they need to be. I would have enjoyed a tiny bit more slide into the beginning, but this tale immediately draws listeners in and keeps them in the pages. The friendship between Nattie and Mia radiates from every page and will resonate with listeners as they dream of having the same type of bond with their own favorite pet. Even when Nattie is to be sold, it's hard not to fever for Mia.

The ending makes Nattie that much more lovable and shows how warm and loving this sheep really is. Wholesome, good feelings are left behind, making this one a read that definitely belongs in the 'again' category.

And here she is...

Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning mystery writer and acclaimed artist as well as a photographer. She and her husband, Gregg, reside in beautiful East Texas on a wooded ranch with their dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep, a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, and Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks, the cats that rule the household.

Find out more at and

1 comment:

Marlene M. Bell said...

Thank you for reading and reviewing Mia and Nattie! Marlene