My almost five year old enjoyed Natalie's antics and foibles as she tries her hardest to do good but ends up getting into trouble with her parents. In the end they express their love for her over their frustration. Junie B. Jones for a Christian audience - Natalie is sweet, endearing and spirited and enthusaistic about her faith. I didn't appreciate her use of words like "hate", "stupid" and "stupidhead" as we try to discourage these words in our girls' vocabulary but these can be edited out as I read aloud.
I was looking for a Godly series of books for my daughter who just turned six. Natalie is 5 1/2 and although she means well, she gets into lots of trouble! This, of course, gives her parents plenty of opportunities to practice patience. Also included are lessons of God's love and forgiveness. We have been so pleased with the Natalie books!
Natalie wants to do something fabulous that no one else has ever done. Yet every time she tries, things go terribly wrong. First, she tries to make purple omelets...but instead, she makes the kitchen so filthy, it takes her mother most of the morning to clean up the mess. She tries to make her daddy some one-of-a-kind shoes...but only succeeds in ruining his church shoes. She tries to save some ants...and ends up infesting her house with them."Only Natalie!" her mother says over and over again, exasperated. Natalie feels horrible. At the end of the day, after Natalie's been sent to bed, she prays: "'I'm sorry...I don't like being Only Natalie.' Then Natalie's parents walk in, so Nat pretends to be sleeping. Her father says: "Dear God...thank you for this wonderful day you've given us. And most of all, thank you for giving us our wonderful daughter, Natalie..." Her mother agrees: "Our Nat is one of a kind, heavenly Father. Who else could make our lives so full and wonderful...Only Natalie.""And as I float into that sleepiness, my mind whispers thanks to God for making me, Natalie...the one-of-a-kind wonderful thing."What I Like: Every preschooler can relate to Natalie and all the trouble she gets into - with the best of intentions. Mackall does an excellent job getting into the head of a five year old. My three year old loves this book, and asks me to read it to her over and over again. I also appreciate the message: Even when everything seems to go wrong and you can't do anything right, you are a one-of-a-kind wonderful person that God has made.What I Dislike: The first chapter or so, you may find yourself tripping over the text, which is entirely written as if Natalie were talking. But as you continue reading the book, I think you'll find (as I did) you get more used to the writing, and the text sounds more and more authentic.Overall Rating: Very good.Kristina SeleshankoManaging EditorChristian Children's Book Review