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Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-101-99986-8 $14.99
Paper ed. ISBN 978-1-101-99988-2 $5.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-101-99987-5 $5.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 2–3
In the few weeks leading to the start of second grade, Alfie (short for Alfleta) Jakes’ mom opts for a more structured playtime by co-creating a two-girl daycare club to avoid the end-of-summer slump otherwise known as “the vacuum.” When Alfie discovers that her playmate, bossy but well-meaning Hanni, is giving away free kittens, the intended carefree days of fun arts and crafts projects transform into the top secret “Operation Kittycat” as Alfie is determined to dodge her parents’ no pets rule and sneak a kitten into her room. Charismatic Alfie originally appears in Warner’s EllRay Jakes series (EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken, BCCB 7/11) as the star’s little sister, and she is every bit as charming as a protagonist here. Admitting mistakes to mom and dad won’t be easy, but having a big brother to lean on helps. [End Page 44] Sweet but cartoony illustrations give an air of imperfection that only adds to the story’s appeal.