It’s 1953, the year Elizabeth is to be crowned Queen of England. Elsie Kettle can't wait to go to London to see the celebrations on Coronation Day. Elsie lives with her Nan – her mum works as a showgirl, so she's not around very often. Spirited and imaginative, but often lonely, Elsie longs for a best friend. Luckily, she and Nan are very close; Elsie just wishes she was allowed a cat to keep her company sometimes.
Then tragedy strikes. Nan and Elsie both fall ill, and Elsie finds herself whisked away to the children's ward of the hospital. Confined to bed for months on end, Elsie finds it very hard to adapt to the hospital's strict regime. But she invents astonishing ways of entertaining the other children on the ward, and for the first time finds herself surrounded by true friends – including Queenie, the hospital's majestic white cat.
Finally, Elsie is well enough to leave hospital. But before she does, she has one very special, very unexpected visitor ...
©2013 Jacqueline Wilson (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
My 9 year old daughter loves this audiobook and has listened to it over and over gain. She is a fan of Jaqueline Wilson and previously wouldn't listen to one of her audiobooks unless it was narrated by the author. Finty Williams has changed her mind - this is definitely her favourite by far.
This story does not work properly as there is some missing. Was unable to listen to all the story.
"Promising start, but went downhill."
I have been a fan of Jacqueline Wilson since I was the target age for the stories. Now I am in my twenties and still enjoy listening to them, but I fear the author is succumbing to "quantity over quality". Finty Williams is a good narrator and gives a good voice to the character, but despite this, the story still comes over as largely bland.
The start of this story was promising, but once the main plot kicked in, I quickly began to lose interest. The story is named for the cat that features, but actually, the cat itself doesn't seem to appear all that often, and when it does, it doesn't bring much, if anything, to the story.
Wilson seems to fall back on using the same things in numerous stories. With this book being set in the fifties, we are spared the seemingly obligatory name-dropping of Disney/Pixar films and pop stars, but we still get the long-winded side-story of the main character becoming a storyteller. This has featured in several of Wilson's stories and in this one, it gets so long-winded that I found myself asking, "who proof-read this?". A little tale-spinning is fine, but huge sections of this story are taken up by fanciful stories told by Elsie, the main character, that actually have no bearing on the plot at all. These could be taken out and the story would be far shorter and still read the same. I've found abridged versions of Wilson's story to be sloppily edited in the past, so I stick to the full stories, but here an abridged version would do just as well.
Suitable, clear, engaging.
This story didn't inspire me to do anything, other than write this review.
I believe Jacqueline Wilson would do well to keep her stories based in the "present day". Although she has first-hand knowledge of the fifties, she doesn't seem able to apply it in a very engaging way to her style of writing.
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