Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Happy Book Birthday, Ellie's Spooky Surprise by Callie Barkley

It's time for another book birthday! Today's read is the 26th in a series. 26th. Isn't that a lot? So, I'm assuming that this one isn't one to ignore (or else it wouldn't be at 26). This series is for chapter book readers and circles around a group of friends, who takes care of animals. I know so many young readers of this age group who adore cute animals. So, I have no doubt this is a happily-seen theme. You'll notice on the cover that this one also heads in the Halloween direction, which might seem a bit early but it never hurts to be prepared.


The Critter Club, #26
by Callie Barkley
Illustrated by Tracy Bishop
Little Simon
Chapter Book Contemporary
128 pages
ages 6 to 10

In the twenty-sixth book of the Critter Club series, Ellie and the girls plan a costume party for pets. Let the cute parade begin!

Ellie’s favorite holiday is coming Halloween! She and friends plan to decorate the Critter Club barn and throw a costume party for neighborhood pets! But they soon realize they’re not alone in the barn. A bat friend has somehow gotten trapped inside. Ellie isn’t sure how to care for a wild animal. With the help of a special vet, can she return the bat to its home in time for the Halloween bash?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

GOODREADS    /    B&N     /     AMAZON 


Friendships and animal fun mix with a creature fitting to Halloween and will have the first thoughts of organizing a party, too.

This is the first time I've met this fun bunch, and even though this book comes very late in the series, it wasn't a problem to sink right in. It definitely can be read on its own. This book also nods towards Halloween and that without spooks and chills, making it very fitting for the age group and even more so for sensitive readers. While Ellie takes center stage in this read, the friend group and their relationships shines. It's goodness pure as they work together, find ways to come to agreements, and remember to think of others along the way. In other words, there are wholesome aspects, which mix right into the cheerful atmosphere.

To match the Halloween season, this installment takes a look at a bat, who has found its way into the Club's barn. Information about bats, what to watch for, and their habits are presented and explained, but never in a boring way. The facts weave into the story smoothly, letting the rest of the story (organizing a Halloween party) flow right along with it. 

The text is very age appropriate and great for those readers, who are pretty good with their words. The large font and spacing makes reading easy. Illustrations offer help with the scenes and let the characters shine. 

It's an entertaining bunch, which will have readers wishing they could have their own Critter Club, and at the very least, get ready for their own part. 

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