Book: Princess Plume
Author: Dean Lombardo
Publisher: Clean Reads
Genre: Children’s Fiction
In One Line: A girl gets better with animal therapy.
Characterisation: All the characters play their part in the story. Saying that it is all about the eleven year old girl Sara and her cat, would be wrong. The mother, her brother, the Sultan, the ranch owners who persuade Sara into adopting a cat and even the girls at school who bully her, are all important characters of the tale. I didn’t like two things here though. The first was the slight romantic angle that was portrayed between Sara and her gymnastics teacher – the age group who will be reading this story, I feel, are too young for this angle. The second was the Sultan’s almost unbelievable demure behaviour in the end. Seemed a little rushed as an ending. For someone who had wanted the animal so badly, it was tough believing that he would give up on her just because of a few scratches.
Language: The language is simple enough for children to read and understand. Just a few grammatical errors were spotted (example; “sometimes he tired of her constant…” on page 3). Loved some of the lines in the book – the take could be one for children, but these lines were important enough takeaways for even adults. My favourite is, “Plume had risked another jump, Sara thought. Right after a fall. Maybe that was what this special cat was trying to tell her. Risks were always necessary.”
Plot Setting: The story doesn’t say where the plot has been set. But there are some stories, like this one, where an exact geographical doesn’t need to be mentioned. The description of the farmland and the gymnastics arena has been written well enough to give the reader a visual appeal about the tale.
Book Cover Art: r – Direct and to-the-point book cover – it covers both aspects of the book – the cat and gymnastics. Given its a book for children, the bright mauve with the deeper shade of blue provides adequate eye-catching contrast. The cat’s tail has been spoken so much about in the book, however, could have done with some more attention. Somehow it’s getting a little camouflaged with the girl’s feet. I liked the font in which the title has been written in. It shows that it’s a fun and light read. The tagline, “Can a spirited kitten lift Sara back onto the bars?”, in white, however, is not too clear.
How’s the Title: The alliterative name is interesting, matches with the storyline and also attractive enough to appeal to kids in the age group of 8-10 years. The fact that the cat’s tail is an important aspect in the story and plume has hence been made a part of the title, does earn him some brownie points. I also like the way the Sultan’ story and hence the cat’s royal descent has been encapsulated in the word ‘princess’.
Is The Blurb Catchy: I read the ebook version of the story that didn’t have the blurb in it. So, this section goes uncommented upon.
Learning From The Story: There’s a lot to learn not only about cats but also about gymnastics. Here’s one such description about the feline species. “The cat’s predominant colors, the article said, were white, orange tabby, and black. All check so far, she mused. The article also said calico was not technically a breed, and a number of different breeds could be considered calico with their color patterns, including something called the Japanese bobtail.”
Areas Of Improvement: I found the story that the Sultan said very reminiscent of the story about ‘Noah’s Ark’. The author could have very well thought of something more out of box.
What Is ‘Said By Not Saying’: Animals have the ability to heal humans mentally. They can renew their confidence and urge them back onto accepting life and all its challenges.
My Reaction When I Finally Closed The Book:
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