Monday, March 17, 2014

Millhouse - a book review

"TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six.  Open your child's imagination. Open a book."
                       - author unknown

Title:  Millhouse
Author/Illustrator:  Natale Ghent
Ages: 7-10

I loved this book from the first time I picked it up.  I adored the main character, Millhouse, or as he refers to himself, Milly, and I thought if I were still teaching grades four and five I would chose this book as a read-aloud to the whole class because I am sure the kids would be enamoured by it too.  Milly is a very dramatic, hairless guinea pig who loves the theatre, (especially Shakespeare), has his own prop box and loves to expound his theatrics into the wee hours of the night. You see poor Milly had a turn of bad luck when his owner, the great actor Sir Roderick Lord Kingswagger died.  He was then taken out of theatre life and placed in a second-class pet shop filled with all sorts of rodents who laughed and mocked him incessantly.  Milly's heart yearns for someone to love him and give him a special home away from all this ridicule.  Millhouse experiences many dramatic and emotional ups and down while living within the confines of that shop and through a series of unfortunate and fortunate events finally gets his heart's desire.  The tale is charming and the illustrations expressive and enlightening. I highly recommend this book.

About the author:

Natale Ghent…

is an award-winning journalist and author. Her work has
been critically acclaimed, garnering awards and recognition
* * *

I was born in..

Brookfield, Illinois, near Chicago. I am the second youngest of five children, four girls and a boy. My brother, Mark, is the oldest.
As a child, I loved everything to do with puppets, magic and science. I used to put on puppet shows and magic acts for my
mom and sisters and cousins. I thought that I could be a magician when I grew up. I also liked to conduct experiments with my microscope, mostly involving paramecium and other microscopic creatures. I used to enjoy inventing stories as well. My aunt, who was also my godmother, encouraged me to write my stories down. She bought me several spiral-ring notebooks and told me to fill them, which I did.
Natale with her brothers and sisters
At the age of seven, my family moved to Woodstock, Ontario. We left all my aunts and uncles and friends behind for a new life in the country. We didn’t mind so much, because we got to rent a gigantic stone farmhouse and have horses and pets of all kinds. We learned how to ride and fend for ourselves in those days.
Natale with her dad
When I grew up, I studied English Literature at the University of Guelph. I loved to read and I especially loved to write. But it wasn’t until I moved to California that I considered the idea of a writing career. While working as a writer for several publications, I studied communications and novel writing at the University of California, San Diego.
Eventually I moved back to Canada to study Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. It was a practical move to secure a profession and ensure stability. I enjoyed the masters program immensely, but my studies helped me to realize that writing is my first love. I left the program and finished two novels in one year. One was picked up by Orca Book Publishers in Vancouver. That novel was Piper. Since then, I haven’t stopped writing. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Book review rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  May your day be wonderful everyone!

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