Review 5 star
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Miracle on Aisle Two is a light-hearted, feel-good Christmas novella. Author Beth Carter writes a about a surprise romance between a struggling single mom and a wealthy architect with a spirit of generosity. Adam Donovan grew up poor before he became successful and when he spots a desperate single mother failing to recover layaway toys in Target because she’s just lost her job, he offers to pay for everything. Madison is suspicious of him, but one date leads to another date, a tour of the amazing hotel he’s renovated, and an introduction to her whip-smart, cute little daughter Betsy. Adam is finding his way into Madison’s life and he seems too good to be true. But does he have a connection to the bitter divorce that put Madison’s dentist employer out of business and ruined her life?
What a perfect story for Christmas! Much like Madison falls for earnest, slightly goofy Adam, I found myself delighted by Miracle on Aisle Two’s encouraging tone that sometimes good things really do happen to people. There are miracles, surprises, and a touch of Santa-for-grownups in the world, giving the mature presents of friendliness, caring, and making things right. Madison is a practical person who struggles to accept a sudden turn for the better, with an endearing klutziness in the face of so many changes crowding into her life. I saw a lot of myself in her and I think most women would find Beth Carter’s book a pleasant and surprisingly vivid read about the strength and caring that the holiday season brings out in people. A nice supporting cast of a loyal friend, a distraught dentist, and a much-loved but hard to manage child round out this cozy little novella that has a warm and fuzzy twist at the end.
Review 5 star
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The Box: The Adventure of Katie and Karl Wallaroo is a children’s picture book that encourages kids to be imaginative. It is written by Rhonda and Rodney Brooks and stars two little kangaroos, a brother and a sister, who imagine things that come alive. After they are gifted an empty box during playtime, their journey begins. Ladybugs start to fly everywhere. When Katie and Karl close their eyes and wish to see something, it happens! They are transported to a field of strawberries, a pirate ship, a jungle—whatever they ask to see. The box turns into the transportation they need for their journey. Their mother is pleased they are having fun, but she thinks they are just imaginative. But then a ladybug lands on her nose too!
This book is pretty awesome. The ease and immediacy with which children can believe and open their minds is not only a vital learning skill, but an important part of being happy. During The Box: The Adventures of Katie and Karl Wallaroo, the young kangaroos never hold back or limit themselves. Instead, they are boundlessly and flexibly creative. They want to see things and those things appear for them. The sense of adventure—or to be specific, “funventure”—within this tale is tangible and something any kid can relate to instantly. The exuberance of little Karl and Katie is their greatest strength in this pleasant story—the courage to embrace the joy of exploring and having fun. Rhonda and Rodney Brooks have coauthored a good read-aloud book that’s a nice addition to any children’ library.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.