I fell in love with Anne Michaels ability to weave magic with her words. I remember being completely under her spell for the entire story. I felt bereft when it finished.
When I recently spotted that Michaels had written a children’s book, I swooned with anticipation.
How could I not fall instantly in love?
Cats, delicious food, magic flying tablecloths and lots of gorgeous wordplays littered the pages of this illustrated chapter book. It all looked and sounded so promisingly delightful.
But something didn’t zing for me.
Each chapter had lots of fun wordy digressions,
Some words are like a hailstorm during the middle of a picnic, or a flat tyre on a lovely journey, or a fallen tree across a path, and these words stop a story immediately and swivel it off in another direction entirely. Words like BUT, HOWEVER, IF ONLY, SADLY and UNFORTUNATELY.
Which is such a pity.
The back cover has a lovely quote that says,
Five utterly captivating stories of gentle adventure, delicious edibles (with cheese for the cats), occasional peril and heart-zinging warmth.
Which helped me realise that what this book was missing was the emotion.
I felt no peril, no zing or glow of warmth. In the end I didn’t care what happened to Miss Petitfour or her cats.
This is now my second attempt to get into the story.
I gave it up a few weeks ago thinking my life was too busy and hectic to appreciate it properly.
I have now had a lovely relaxing, soothing summer holiday. But this quaint, gentle tale still failed to capture my imagination or my heart.
Unfortunately, I need more drama than this story offers up. I need more character development. I need a reason to go along for the ride.
And Emma Block’s sweet, charming illustrations have not been reason enough.