Harcourt, 2008 (2008)
Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto
his summer, Nurk joins the long list of fictional animal adventurers. Ursula Vernon's book
is sure to delight young, independent readers as they follow the reluctant shrew on his unexpected adventure.
urk has always admired his grandmother, the great adventurer Surka, but never dreamed that he would find himself on an adventure of his own. When he mistakenly opens a letter addressed to his lost grandmother asking for aid, he knows he must return it. With the help of his salamander friend, he builds a sailboat out of shell and sets off down river. Soon he is stuck in a tangle of branches where he meets Scatterwings, the dragonfly princess, who sends for help. When Nurk learns that Scatterwings is the one who sent the letter, he wants to return the favor and rescue her kidnapped brother from the evil, monstrous Grizzlemole. However, as Nurk sets forth on his adventure, he starts to doubt he can ever be as brave as his grandmother.
is a fun read full of engaging characters and situations. Nurk is completely loveable, Grizzlemole is comicallly scary, and Scatterwings is decidedly memorable. The adventures that Nurk encounter will have readers laughing and constantly cheering the little shrew on, making Ursula Vernon's story a great summer read for older elementary school students.
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