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[( Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage )] [by: Kaye Umansky] [Aug-2009] (Anglais) Relié – 18 août 2009

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Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage When the sensible, reliable, and always tidy Clover Twig goes to work for a messy witch, she discovers that the witch's cottage has quite a few secrets hiding inside of it. Illustrations. Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x92a086e4) étoiles sur 5 33 commentaires
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92b112e8) étoiles sur 5 Wonderful English charm 25 juin 2009
Par Travis Ann Sherman - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
To enjoy books like Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage was the reason I learned to read all those years ago. It's the sort of book you happily immerse yourself in until they call you for dinner, and regret that you must leave when it is over. Now, as a children's librarian, I can't wait to hand it over to those bright little five through nine year olds who have read through all the Garden Fairy books and are looking for more magic at another level. Perfect.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92b11ee8) étoiles sur 5 delightful! 1 juillet 2009
Par Lorel Shea - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Clover Twig is ten years old and describes herself as, "hardworking, tidy, honest, mostly sensible, and sometimes stubborn." She can read and write, but is most talented at cleaning, which is how she ends up employed as a housekeeper for a witch. Unfortunately, this witch, Demelza, has an evil sister who is up to no good. She has a PLAN, and intends to use an appetizing cake left on the doorstep to foil her sister's defensive spells. "No one leaves a cake out in the rain." purrs the wicked Mesmeranza.

What tale would be complete without a sidekick or two for our heroine? Clover is joined in her adventures by the clumsy neighbor boy, Wilfred, and Demelza's cat, Neville.

This book is fun and considerably lighter in tone than most of the other magic books on the market. Kids who read well at about the 4th grade level should enjoy it, regardless of age. Mesmeranza locks the children in a dungeon and feeds them bread and water, but there's never any hint of truly foul deeds.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92b11fd8) étoiles sur 5 Delightful! 2 juillet 2009
Par poltroon - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Between the whimsical drawings and the whimsical text, this book was sure to delight me, and it did. I started off reading it with my daughter, but I was impatient and read all the way to the end on my own.

Clover is a sensible girl, in a quite extraordinary situation, yet she always manages to keep her composure and her sensible nature to cope with the chaos around her. I enjoyed Clover, but I admit that what won me over were the wonderful scenes with the evil witch Mesmeranza.

Mesmeranza is vain and vengeful, but perhaps not the most effective Evil Witch, as she relies on her mousy secretary Miss Fly and her assorted other servants to carry out the various Plans she thinks up. Here, she dictates to Miss Fly her To Do list for The Plan:

"Put the shoes first."
"The shoes go first. Before anything else, I need the right shoes. These red ones."
Mesmeranza stabbed at a page in the catalog with a crimson talon. The shoes she was pointing at were bright red and strappy, with perilously high heels.
"Haven't you got enough shoes?" ventured Miss Fly, who went for more sensible brown wide-fitting flats.
"No," said Mesmeranza, firmly. "Shoes are vitally important. What have I always said, Fly? Get the shoes right, and everything else follows smoothly. We don't all have to go around with Yeti feet like you. So the list now reads, Shoes, Cake, Disguise, Boy."

The book is a breezy and funny light read, but the language is beautiful and the vocabulary rich. There's nothing too scary, but it's quite funny, particularly the contrast between the way Mesmeranza perceives her wicked and brilliant schemes and the way everyone else sees them.

Cats play an important role, as do cakes, and an invisible horse. They are all well drawn, with a level of cheerful realism, even the ones that are magical and thus shouldn't necessarily be realistic at all.

On the cats:
Here we are again, back in Castle Coldiron. The weather has not improved. Storms are blowing in from the north. Miss Fly's cats are restless. They just slump around shedding hair, watching the clouds gather, and demanding more fish heads. Miss Fly is beside herself. Not only is her room full of chunks of fallen ceiling plaster, frankly, it's getting rather stinky.

The suggested age range of 9+ is about right for most kids in terms of the difficulty, but this is a novel that would be a good choice for a precocious younger reader as well - there's nothing too scary or too grown up here. It is also a perfectly wonderful read for an adult of any age, with or without the excuse of a child to read it to.

I loved this book, and I look forward to seeking out other titles by Ms. Umansky.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92b11fcc) étoiles sur 5 Funny book with plenty of surprises 29 juin 2009
Par Sunny Sewing Honeybee - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
Saying much about the plot of _Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage_ would spoil the book, which is full of surprises and twists and turns. Perhaps it would be better to tell who some of the characters are.

First, there's Clover Twig, who is practical, tidy, and very adult at only 10 years of age. Clover goes to work for a witch by the name of Demelza Eckles. Mrs. Eckles is a good and kind witch, but messy and desperately in need of a reliable live-in housekeeper like Clover. Sometimes she also has errands done for her by Wilf, an accident-prone but well-meaning boy. He, in addition to Clover, becomes one of the two main characters.

Then there's Demelza Eckles' sister, vain Mesmeranza. Demelza has something Mesmeranza wants desperately and will do anything to get. You see, Mesmeranza is NOT a good witch. She's plotting and planning something sneaky, and aims to trick the children into helping her with her plan.

Author Kaye Umansky seems to have a love of language, giving her characters funny names that fit their personalities. She also employs alliteration and other language gags--such as with Mesmeranza's personal secretary, who can't pronounce more and more letters as she gets sicker and her congestion thicker. Some of the language play is reminiscent of Roald Dahl.

All of the other characters have their flaws and idiosyncrasies (including the cat and the flying horse), all, that is, except for main character Clover. The witches really aren't all that scary, even the bad witch Mesmeranza. After all, it's difficult to be scary if you're a vain witch who insists upon wearing high heels.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92b11774) étoiles sur 5 Solid 4 Star Pre-Teen Fantasy 30 juin 2009
Par Gypsi Phillips Bates - Publié sur
Format: Relié Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
In it, we meet Clover Twig, an unusually neat and responsible pre-teen who is applying for a job with the town witch, Mrs. Eckles. It is obvious at once that Mrs. Eckles needs Clover's housekeeping skills and Clover's large family would certainly benefit from the wages. Clover and Mrs. Eckles take a liking to each other, she is hired and the adventure begins.

Mrs. Eckles has an evil sister, who covets Mrs. Eckles' ramshackle old cottage, simply because it is not her own, and has been trying for years to steal it. Clover, the cat Neville, and the extremely clumsy delivery boy Wilf find themselves in a battle to keep the cottage for Mrs. Eckles, while she is away at a Fair.

When spelled out like that, the plot doesn't sound like much, and some of it is fairly standard children's fantasy--as well as bearing a likeness in some parts to at least one of my favorite authors. On the other hand, there are some good laugh-out-loud bits, the children are likable and when Ms. Umanksy writes about cats, well, it is obvious she knows cats! Also, just when I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, I received a plot surprise here and there which rounded out to a pleasant story, with an amusing and gratifying ending.

On the whole, as an adult who sates herself in fantasy as often as possible, this wasn't an exceptional book. However, I would think that a child, still fresh to the genre, would be enchanted and thoroughly amused. I would certainly recommend it to the young pre-teen, especially female, reader.
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