Narrator Andrea Martin playfully creates a cast of characters surrounding the likable Ellen Tebbits, including the irritating pest, Otis Spofford, the stoutly loyal best friend, Austine Allen, and a host of others. (She's particularly funny as the airy Mrs. Valerie Todd Spofford, the ballet teacher.) Martin saves her best for Ellen herself, conveying with insight and humor the ups and downs of a fourth-grader's life. Martin expresses Ellen's worst fears (does her long underwear show under her tutu?) and deepest joys (Austine really is protecting her from the dreadful Otis!). Children will enjoy this story, which includes valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty, and common sense.
©1951 Beverly Cleary; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Mrs. Cleary writes from a sure knowledge of the third grader's world. It all rings true." (The New York Times)
I liked this story, but the narration was distracting.
The voice was completely unsuitable --did not have a childlike quality. Sounded harsh, overly emphatic, and lacked freshness.
Too bad, a nice little story.
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