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Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis AND Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle by Charise Mericle Harper, 122 pp, RL 3

Last year, I reviewed and loved The Amazing Crafty Cat by the multitalented, amazing Charise Mericle Harper.  Since then, two more books about Birdie, a creative girl who is passionate about crafts, have come out! Both have the marvelous craft centered plots that find Birdie in complicated situations with friends, like Evan, and mean girls, like Anya. And, as you might expect, Birdie - with the help of her alter-ego, Crafty Cat - comes up with a craft that saves the day, or at least makes her day better. Best of all, each book ends with "Crafty Time" pages. Starting with a list of crafts Birdie made in each story and the supplies needed, Harper gives clear, easy to follow instructions allowing readers to make the same crafts! As a librarian and parent, I especially appreciate the way that Harper makes social interactions and the challenges that they bring a central part of each story. 
In Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis, Birdie's expectations are high as she and Evan head off to a one-day Monster Craft Camp at school. Evan is joining her, on the condition that Birdie plays Pirates & Pumpkins with him immediately after camp ends, for two whole hours. She also has to agree to watch Evan do the Victory Dance if he wins. It's a high price to pay for each friend, but they understand the value of compromise. Unfortunately, the frowning, bossy, pushy Anya is also at Monster Craft Camp. Birdie has to contend with Anya and other disappointments that come, including a game of monster dodgeball. With the help of Cloudy, a cute cloud who appears when Birdie is feeling down to offer encouragement, and, of course, Crafty Cat, Birdie and Even find a way to have a great day.

In Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle, an unexpected development, and, as always, Anya, threaten to ruin what promised to be a magnificent class play. Miss Domino's class is preparing for their play about insects and Birdie wants to be the butterfly. She has even crafted a sample-size set of wings. It turns out there are seven other students with the same plan, including Anya. Anya gets her way and Birdie embraces the roll of the caterpillar, creating (of course) caterpillar crafts and a costume, but challenges still arise. With the help of Crafty Cat and Cloudy, Birdie - and her crafting talents - save the day!

 Source: Review Copy


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