HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Wrenolds of Elm Tree Cottage
Author and Illustrator: Joanna Cook
Publisher: Mirror Publishing, 2010
Related website: www.pagesofwonder.com (publisher)
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 7-12 (grades 3-6)
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Cook, Joanna. The Wrenolds of Elm Tree Cottage (published in 2010 by Mirror Publishing, Milwaukee, WI 53214). Do you know what a wren is? If you said it’s a bird, you’re correct! Mr. and Mrs. Wrenolds, who are wrens, have returned to Elm Tree Cottage. Mr. Wrenolds performs his annual ritual of finding seven prospective residences from which Mrs. Wrenolds will choose. For the past several years, they have lived in the tulip tree, but due to winter ice storms, part of it is gone. Grandma Wrenolds wants to try the oak tree, but Mrs. Wrenolds decides to go back to the tulip tree. They meet all their old friends from the cottage yard, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, Axel B. Jaymes, Tony and Mary Hummingway, Alfred Ousley, and Sir Al Cardin. Will the tulip tree prove satisfactory when the Wrenolds’ two children, Jake and Jackie, come along? And what will they all do when a tornado happens through?
Many early readers intended for young children have fairly predictable stories. However, this bright and cheerful book is a delightful change. Youngsters will be fascinated by Joanna Cook’s easy-to-read tale and colorful drawings, in which are also embedded interesting little tidbits of information about the characteristics and habits of the various kinds of birds pictured, including wrens, robins, blue jays, hummingbirds, blackbirds, and cardinals. The author says that The Wrenolds of Elm Tree Cottage “is the first book in a series of whimsical tales of a bird community that also blends aviary facts.” Bird lovers will especially enjoy it, but I highly recommend it to everyone and look forward to the sequels.