John M W Smith
on Oct. 16, 2015 :
This is a book of childhood reminiscences in the form of anecdotes from the author's life, told from her own point of view when she was around seven years of age. I smiled throughout and laughed out loud after every few pages. It is so eventful, so funny and so naturally depicted that one cannot doubt its authenticity. Childhood should be filled with thrills of all kinds, and Patricia Puddle's childhood does not disappoint. I mean, how many children find themselves all alone on a leaking boat, heading downstream in the dark, with no imaginable prospect of rescue until a helicopter appears, spotlight blazing, to lower a man who scoops you away to safety?
I find it so sad that parents of young children in this age group mostly select books that they think their children should read rather than the kind that kids really want to read. For I am sure that if the children for whom this book was written had a totally free choice, it is a book like this that they would select--but their parents, with their stodgy ideas about good education, good behaviour and what is proper, would probably select something dead boring and depressingly wholesome which would make their kids' eyes glaze over after a few pages. And then parents wonder why their kids lose the reading habit that they were so anxious to instil!
A good book for children doesn't always have to have subliminal messages about morality, generosity, altruism, and sacrifice within its pages. It can equally be just funny and engaging and nothing else, as this book is. The idea is to make a book an enjoyable read, full of fun and laughter, and Double Trouble delivers this in more than sufficient measure. For example, how very liberating it must feel for a child to be able to push away a nauseating tripe pie prepared by a tyrannical aunt and instead dine on an entire bottle of tomato sauce!
There is no bigger compliment I can pay this book than to say that having read it, kids will most definitely go in search of similar books to read. Spontaneously. On their own initiative. And I'm sorry, but the same may not be said so easily about some books that their parents might have selected as being most appropriate for them. I think some of the sketches could be slightly improved upon, but this very minor criticism does not detract from the quality of the book as a whole. It is so obvious that the author very much enjoyed writing about this series of hilarious and often amazing events from childhood, and that she very competently communicates this enjoyment to her readers. If any artistic licence has been taken with the depiction of some of the events, it is hard to put one's finger on it for sure--and again this is a tribute to this author's talent.
Go on, give your kids a laugh, buy this book. It will linger long in their memories
(review of free book)
on Dec. 25, 2011 :
This was a wonderful adventure story. Polly and Gertie are best friends. When Polly’s parents leave her Aunt in charge of her for a week, things get really hairy. Polly can’t seem to do anything right. Everything she attempts to do ends in catastrophe. It all starts with a gumball that she and her best friend make. This is the first thing that gets her on her aunt’s bad side. When she tries to hide her dinner of Liver and Spaghetti, can you say yuck, she gets in more trouble. Trying to fix her mistakes only makes things worse. Her aunt has no patience for kids and this adds to the humor. I rooted for Polly and Gertie all the way through the book. The writing style of this book reminded me of Roald Dahl. I think kids who liked “George’s Marvelous Medicine” by Roald Dahl will love this book. It has the cranky relative that you love to hate. The antics in the book are hilarious and of course you find the parents have a tendency to overlook the mischief that Polly and Gertie get into. I highly recommend this book to my students and to parents everywhere.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
Magda M. Olchawska
on Oct. 24, 2011 :
Polly and Gertie are best friends forever. They do everything together, whether it is disgusting like chewing bubblegum they have just picked up on the street or riding a bike like crazy.
Polly does get upset with Gertie for being silly or being totally careless when Polly thinks taking a risk is totally unnecessary. However, everything always works out between the two of them. (not going to give out any spoilers here)
When we meet Polly, her parents are away so auntie Mabel looks after her for the time being. However her aunt isn’t the best possible choice for a babysitter, which makes Polly’s life miserable and extremely difficult. Aunt Mabel doesn’t even try to understand Polly and can’t stand Gertie around Polly, blaming her for all the trouble Polly gets into. But telling the truth, when it comes to trouble Polly is as creative as Gertie.
Polly’s story made me laugh like crazy & made me cry at the end of the book.
This girl reminds me so much of another little girl I remember from my childhood. Little red Scandinavian rascal named Pippi.
Patricia Puddle did an excellent job at portraying friendship between two girls who aren’t into ballet & doll house parties. Their friendship is not easy but real friendships never are and they usually require a lot of unconditional acceptance.
Polly and Gertie’s friendship is realistic, they have ups & downs but most importantly one loves another and they are there for each other.
The book is a fantastic read for kids age 5-13 (not to put any crazy ideas into little kid’s minds ☺).
I would recommend “Star – Crossed Rascals” also to parents, teachers & librarians.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Sep. 9, 2011 :
My daughter got this book as a gift from a friend. My daughter loves it! And so do I.
Best Friends Forever - Gertie and Polly are best friends. One day, they get into big trouble with a bubble gum fiasco. Polly's parents might have handled it differently, but they are out of town and Polly is left in the care of Auntie. Auntie bans Polly and Gertie from playing together ever again. Polly is horrified. How can she live without her 'bestest' friend? She sneaks out to see her and the dynamic duo get into a world of trouble that will have you rolling on the ground. I never stopped laughing at Polly's luck. And Auntie isn't very happy either. Auntie is mean and has no tolerance for children. Polly clashes with her every step of the way. When Polly gets herself into another disaster, she and Gertie have one last adventure that will change both of their lives forever.
This was an awesome, well-written children's story that everyone will love. It will encourage your child to read. My daughter couldn't stop turning the pages as she dove into the world of Polly and Gertie. This book was creative, funny, and a wonderful tale of friendship. I definitely recommend it!!!! And so does my eight-year old daugher! We just had a blast reading it together.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
June V. Bourgo
on Sep. 8, 2011 :
I bought this book for my grandaughter. She loves it. I could stop the review right here because that says it all.
I'm sure we can all relate on some level to this story about two childhood friends who get into trouble all the time when thinking back on our own childhoods.
Just as these two adventurous, mischievious girls appear to go over the line, something funny happens, creating an amusing and entertaining tale.
My grandaughter is only seven, but advanced in reading and an avid reader. She carries this book with her and reads it over and over in bed before she falls asleep. I just bought her Patricia Puddle's newest release, "Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot". My grandaughter can't wait to read it.
Kudos to the writer. Not only does she reach kids on their level, she has great comedic timing that make her children's stories unique.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on June 18, 2011 :
When Polly's parents leave to spend the week with an ill relative, Polly's stuck with mean Auntie. Auntie's not a nice person at all; she's bitter, angry and likes to hand out plenty of chores. And worst of all, she's the most awful cook in the world. The only thing Polly looks forward to is spending her free time with her best friend, Gertie. After a misfortunate accident in the kitchen, Auntie grounds Polly, but Polly's a confident little thing and won't accept not meeting her friend, so she sneaks out, after which the girls go through one adventure after another. Star Crossed Rascals is a magical story that captures the voice of a young girl so well I thought I was actually seeing little Polly in front of my eyes. I was left sad and wanting for more after finishing the novel. The girls' mischief is beyond hilarious and unfortunate events kept me wanting to turn the page. I highly recommend it for both kids and adults, and will read more of this very talented writer.
(reviewed the day of purchase)