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I expected this to be an excellent story, a new, charming favorite. I was disappointed to discover that it was wordy and uninteresting. We read this as a read aloud and stopped at chapter 6. None of us cared what happened any more and as a large family ourselves, it was rather boring reading the moment by moment nonsensical conversations of siblings. We wanted to love this, we were sad to have paid money for it.
Reviewed in the United States on 11 September 2017
I ordered this book because it sounded like something a Grandma could read to the 6 year-old twins when they sleep over. I was put off immediately by the beginning, which brings up the subject of divorce. What I don't like is that it puts me in the position of having to explain something that should come from the parents - and it was totally unnecessary to even have that in the book. I'll figure out a way around it, as the story is interesting - but I am disappointed that this author had to start off on a sour note. The realisms of life could be put off for these young, eager minds - why plant the seed of something frightening when you don't have to?
This is a modern day Scrooge story, the textbook uplifting saved at the last minute tale. The story does have it's moments. The characters are believable enough, the pace is good and the plot mostly works. I didn't like that The Vanderbeekers, when told their lease wasn't being renewed, failed to find or even look for other opportunities. That came off as very irresponsible to me.