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All About Ellie


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Callie Barkley loves animals. As a young girl, she dreamed of getting a cat or dog of her own until she discovered she was allergic to most of them. It was around this time that she realized the world was full of all kinds of critters that could use some love. She now lives with her husband and two kids in Connecticut. They share their home with exactly ten fish and a very active ant farm.

Marsha Riti illustrated the picture book The Picky Little Witch by Elizabeth Brokamp and The Critter Club series by Callie Barkley. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she likes to take long walks, stopping frequently to pet neighborhood kitties.


Gr 1-3-These beginning chapter books chronicle the adventures of bookish Amy, theatrical Ellie, artistic Liz, and horse-loving Marion. While the eight-year-olds have varied interests and come from diverse families, they're as close as sisters, and they all look forward to their weekly slumber parties. In Ellie, the title character is cast as the lead in the school play, and her friends don't appreciate her self-centered attitude-especially when she neglects her duties at the animal shelter. In the end, a heartfelt apology and a heroic effort toward the shelter's residents win back her friends. In Puppy, Amy helps her veterinarian mother locate a lost pet belonging to a crabby elderly woman who ends up being friendlier than anyone suspected. The woman donates a building to establish an animal shelter, which Amy and her friends help run. Simple, upbeat plots, plenty of black-and-white illustrations, and relatable themes make these great picks for newly independent readers.-Amanda Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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