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“But, she hadn’t had the chance to get to know her yet. Anyway, she liked to make up her own mind about people,” Jemma. –Star Dreams
Magic Kitten #3
by Sue Bentley
Flame meets Jemma Watson in an alley, and this ordinary girl soon realizes that she is dealing with an extraordinary kitten. Flame’s magic powers come in handy as Jemma auditions for dance school while trying to look after her younger siblings. But the fun can’t last forever as Flame senses his enemies close by and must return to his kingdom. . .
Jemma loves having Flame, and she takes him everywhere she goes, including school. Flame often uses his magic to help Jemma out. One time, Flame’s magic is too much, which creates a funny food fight at school. Readers will fall in love with Flame as he uses sparkly magic to help Jemma with everyday problems.
Jemma loves to dance and is excited about trying out for a dance class. When the new girl, Fran, asks Jemma if she can come over, Jemma is nervous. Jemma knows that some kids think Fran is a snob. “But, she [Jemma] hadn’t had the chance to get to know her yet. Anyway, she liked to make up her own mind about people.” Because Fran has new clothes and her mom drives an expensive car, Jemma is worried to invite her over. Jemma doesn’t want Fran to see her run-down house; however, Jemma gets over her fear. When Fran comes over, she doesn’t make a comment on Jemma’s house.
Many readers will relate to Jemma, who worries about her family’s financial situation. However, Jemma doesn’t let this stop her from befriending Fran. Jemma is a positive character who helps her mother by babysitting and helping around the house. The story shows that a person’s character is more important than their financial status.
When Jemma performs, she makes a mistake in the routine, but she keeps going. Jemma was sure that her mistake would disqualify her, but in the end she has a happy surprise. The judges “were impressed because I didn’t let a small mistake get in the way.” Black and white drawings appear every 3-7 pages. Star Dream will engage readers as it teaches positive life lessons. Even though Star Dreams is part of a series, the books do not need to be read in order. Each book introduces a main character as Flame tries to hide from his uncle.
- Flame’s uncle is looking for him. His uncle wants to kill Flame so he can keep the throne.
- When sandwiches and other foods begin spilling out of Jemma’s brother’s lunch box, the kids go crazy and start a food fight. When Mr. Butler comes over and yells at the kids, Jemma’s brother threw a cherry cake at him. “The cherry cake hit Mr. Butler in the chest. Squish! The teacher’s face reddened with anger and he gave a roar of rage. An enormous chocolate éclair torpedoed into his open mouth as one boy with particularly good aim looked very proud of himself.” Flame uses magic to make all the food disappear and everyone forgets what happened.
- A boy picks up Flame and “pretended to throw Flame over a nearby garden wall. Flame gave a terrified wail. His paws clawed at the air. He seemed too scared to do any magic.” When Jemma offers the boy money, he gives Jemma the kitten.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Jemma’s brother “leaped onto the bed and began playing with Flame.” Jemma yells at him and calls him a big jerk.
- “Oh, heck” is used twice. When Jemma’s brother drops something, he says, “Oh, heck!”
- Flame uses magic to change into a kitten and jump into a different world. When he changes, “sparks crackled in Flame’s fur and there was a flash of dazzling white light. A silky cream kitten with brown spots sat where the young white lion had stood just a moment ago.”
- When Flame enters another world, Jemma sees “silver sparkles shot out of Flame’s fur. His green eyes began to glow like coals and his whiskers trembled with electricity. Jemma felt a tingling sensation.”
- In order to make Jemma’s baby sister stop crying, Flame “raised a paw and a fountain of silver sparks whooshed into the air. Big, shiny, rainbow-colored bubbles appeared. They floated in the air, tinkling like silvery bells when they bumped gently into each other.”
- Flame makes lunch for Jemma’s brother. Jemma “saw piles of ham and cheese sandwiches, cookies, and lemonade.” However, Flame’s magic was too strong. When Jemma’s brother opens his lunch box, “shooting out of it was a multicolored volcano of sandwiches, potato chips, cookies, and candy?”
- Flame uses magic to make himself invisible.
- When Jemma’s brother makes a mess in the kitchen, Flame cleans it up. “A minute later, the vacuum cleaner burst into action. It zoomed around wildly, making clean trails through the flour. . . The vacuum cleaner whizzed back into the closet. Swish! Cushions, carpets, and curtains flicked back into place. Phloop! Flour and sauce disappeared back into bags and jars.”
- When Jemma is going to be late for tryouts, Flame transports her. “Opening the door, she poked her head outside. There was a long line of people twisting all down the hallway.”
- Flame transforms Jemma’s backyard. “The flowers were all planted and the lawn had been mowed. The paving stones were in place.”