Title: Mia and Nattie: One Great Team!
Author: Marlene M. Bell
Illustrated by: Grace Sandford
Genre: Children’s Picture book, Farm Animals
Synopsis: 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.
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.
Have you ever loved an animal so much you considered it your best friend? Did you talk to it and tell it all your problems? I know I did. Marlene M. Bell does a fantastic job bringing to life the very best of our pet-loving memories, and she does it in such an enchanting way!
I was drawn into this cute story from the very first page. You can tell that the author and illustrator worked well together by the way each illustration shows the emotions on the page, and in this case, they were memory-invoking for me. I loved Mia’s attitude and caring nature. She never gave up or lost hope for Nattie. Instead, Mia time and time again persevered in the face of defeat. She truly showed how much she cared about Nattie’s well-being.
“Mia had to come up with a plan.
Mia couldn’t break Nattie’s heart.”
I also enjoyed the progression of the story and how Marlene M. Bell developed the story in an easy-flowing way that any age could understand. Her word choices were not too basic that older children would not enjoy the story (I mean I enjoyed it), yet they were still simple enough that even very young kids would enjoy this book too. Especially if you make sounds 😊. I thought the themes that Marlene M. Bell chose to display, perseverance, loyalty, and standing up for what you believe in, were just right for this book, and the Illustrations certainly helped me picture life for Mia and Nattie; They were beautifully done and show attention to detail. I look forward to reading more adventures from Mia and Nattie!
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for the fun engaging story, for the relevant themes, and for making me want to read more about Mia and Nattie’s adventures! The only thing that I noticed was that a couple of the first pages seemed rushed and I wished that there had been more details to fill the gaps; but that would not affect young readers, and did not affect the readability of the story. I sincerely recommend reading this book (Or getting it as a Christmas gift) for anyone who likes books.
*I volunteered to read this book in return for my honest feedback. The thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own.
About The Author
Marlene shares her life with her husband and dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep: a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, and cats, Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks. The cats believe they rule the household—and do.
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