Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Andi's Fair Surprise

When 6 year old Andi learns her family is going to the state fair in Andi's Fair Surprise, she's anxious to enter one of the contests and win a prize, just like her siblings. Andi's Mother says she's too young to participate in the fair events, but that she can enjoy the fair just the same.

Dressed in her finest, Andi rides the train to Sacramento and enjoys all the highlights of a 19th century fair, especially the games and animal exhibits. In fact, it's at the latter that she falls in love with the lambs (who feature prominently in her favorite Bible story) - even though everyone tells her they are cattle ranchers, and cattle ranchers don't like sheep. Then Andi wins a lamb - and must give it up to another little girl. She knows it's best for the lamb; as her mother says, Andi should be like Jesus and take the lost sheep back where it belongs. But Andi wishes she could take something home from the fair; her mother and sister won a blue ribbon, and her brothers got other prizes. So Mother gives her blue ribbon to Andi for doing a "hard, brave" thing like giving up her lamb. In the end, Andi admits, "This was the best fair ever!"

Throughout, black and white illustrations by Leslie Gammelgaard add a pleasant touch to the book. Author Susan K. Marlow also ends the book with a few notes about the history of state fairs.

What I Like: Like all the Andi books, this is a sweet, innocent story. However, it's realistic, too. Andi is flawed and she goes through some difficult things for a child her age. My 5 year old daughter really enjoyed this book.

What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: 4 - 8.
Publishing Info: Kregel, 2011; ISBN: 978-0825441844; paperback, 80 pgs., $4.99.

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Special Info: See our other reviews of books by Susan K. Marlow. Visit the series website for free coloring pages, free activity packs, and free online puzzles.

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