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Eleven-year-old Kate is so good at spinning yarns that her little brother, Michael, often ends up believing the tales she tells. Yet when the two children stumble across an adorably fierce baby griffin, even Kate's most fantastic stories can't compete with the truth. Their family has only 10 days left in Italy before returning home to Minnesota, and the siblings want to spend as much time as possible with their fantastic new friend. They must figure out where Grifonino lives and find a way to send him back, while avoiding overzealous griffin-seekers and deciding whether or not to let their obnoxious teenaged brother in on their secret. The story uses the age-old conceit of children stumbling upon a magical creature, with little to distinguish it from similar books. There is some confusion surrounding a potential villain known as Prince Eduardo that never really pans out, though the action certainly moves along at a nice clip. With sweet pen-and-ink illustrations at each chapter heading, this is a good story, just not an exceptional one.
—Elizabeth BirdCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Posted November 15, 2008
Kate, Michael, their older brother, Stephen, and their parents are living in Italy for a few months. Lately, Stephen seems to think he's too old for them, so Kate and Michael have been spending a lot of time together. <BR/><BR/>Kate's favorite thing to do is tell stories. Sometimes she forgets that Michael is young and gullible, and he believes her stories. Sometimes she does it a little bit on purpose. <BR/><BR/>Playing ball in the garden one day, Kate and Michael find what seems to be a baby griffin. Neither of them are sure if he's real or if they're both imagining things. But day after day, Grifonino, the name they give him meaning "little griffin" in Italian, returns. Kate and Michael are sure he's real, but they're not sure where he came from or what to do with him. <BR/><BR/>Kate thinks Stephen might be able to help, or at least he would have back when he liked them. Michael convinces her to keep it a secret. But when the story Kate is writing starts writing back, they know their secret is out. And they better figure out something fast because Prince Eduardo seems pretty unhappy! <BR/><BR/>Italian villas, a cuddly baby griffin, and a story that literally comes to life. I absolutely love it! Who hasn't let their imagination run wild from time to time? But who ever thinks that it might be wild enough to come true? And I never thought about having a pet griffin before, but I'm starting to wonder where I might be able to find one.
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Posted May 19, 2010
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