Review Blog

Jun 06 2018

Catastrophe Girl : The pie thief mystery by Diane Harding

cover image

Little Steps Publishing, 2018, 128 pages; paperback. ISBN 9781925545579
(Age: Lower/Middle Primary) Catrina (or Cat) has secret powers. She only has to whisper a few magic words and she turns into a super hero. Her power is in the ability to save people from catastrophic situations without them noticing that she has even moved, in lightening quick time. When she finds out there has been a pie thief at the school canteen, Cat goes into superhero mode to save the day. But . . . uh - oh! Cat forgets what the magic words are, how can she save the day without her super powers?
The way this novel follows a very basic structure; beginning, middle, (containing the complication and solution) and ending would be good if used for teaching the beginnings of creating a recount. Parts of the book were quite funny, and increasingly silly as Cat gets into more and more mess trying to remember the secret words to make her magic happen.
The novel is broke up into short 2 - 3 page chapters, and is dotted with clever comic-like illustrations. The number of unbelievable scenarios Cat finds herself in will entertain a young reader, but those with a longer attention span will find this one hard to read as, in parts, it felt like a collection of shorter disjointed stories collated as one. I felt like I was reading a Year 3 recount. While the length and simplicity of the sentences would be good for a student who is on a lower reading level, the text was not complicated enough to appeal to most 7/8 year olds. It is the beginning of a series, so those who enjoy it can read more about Catastrophe Girl in 2018.
Clare Thompson

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