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‘The Wallflowers and Wildflowers Learn Manners:’ Book Review

This simple, children’s picture book wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Taking place in San Dimas, CA, in the 1920s, we follow the adventures of Betty and the various animals in her life.

Six-year-old Betty lives on a farm. The Wallflowers are the names for the two cats that live in the house, while the Wildflowers are what she calls the three cats who live outside. One day, the Wallflowers start to wonder what it’s like to play in the grass and drink fresh milk from the cow in the barn. The Wildflowers, meanwhile, wonder what it’s like to curl up by the fireplace and do other indoor activities. So, they decide to switch places for a day. First, however, they must each learn proper manners and etiquette for how to behave in their new environment.

The story takes some time to get going, but once it does, it’s very cute and something that kids will definitely enjoy. Author Maura J. Graber gives us a story that’s unique and original. Illustrator Christie Shinn, meanwhile, brings that story vividly to life with pictures that add color, personality, and just a touch of humor to the characters.

The story appears to be at least partially true. It opens with a dedication to the author’s mother-in-law, Betty Graber, before introducing us to the Betty of the story. Plus, many of the details just have that ring of truth to them. It makes me wonder if the indoor and outdoor cats switching places one day is something that actually happened.

Kids of around six or so will certainly enjoy this book. It’s a little simplistic for kids much older than that, but it’s still a lot of fun. I myself enjoyed it quite a bit. Maura Graber and Christie Shinn make a great team, and I hope that they do more children’s books in the future.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



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