Sarah's Stars

Ken Setterington.  Clever Katarina
Tundra Books.  $22.99  ISBN 0-88776-764-8  40 pg.
Reviewed by Aleen, Age 12

Katarina, known for her cleverness, lives alone with her father.  When the king grants them a new piece of land for farming, Katarina and her father begin to turn the soil and they find a gold mortar.  Katarina warns her father that the king will punish them if they give him a mortar without a pestle, but he doesn’t listen and gives the king the mortar.  Suspecting that Katarina and her father are keeping the pestle for themselves, the furious king throws Katarina’s father in jail. Eventually the king learns of Katarina’s intelligence and orders her father to bring Katarina to him and gives her a challenge.  If she fails to solve the riddle by the next morning, the king will put her father back behind bars.  Will Katarina be able to solve the king’s puzzle and save her father from prison?

Clever Katarina was an excellent read.  I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen to Katarina and her father.  The story is delightful but is more for older readers.  Children ten and up will enjoy this intriguing story.  Although the black and white cut-paper illustrations accented the story gracefully and provided visual explanation of the events, younger children may not appreciate them.

I rate Clever Katarina four stars.


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