Come Along With Me by Linda Lee Schell
Publisher: A Kinder World Publishing House
Genre: Action/Adventure Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (81 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Aloe
Come Along With Me will transport eight-to twelve-year old children, their parents, and their grandparents to another world when they read Come Along With Me, an adventure about friendship and caring, the unfortunate consequences of jealousy, and the power of hope.
Meet Gracie, a ditzy dwarf kangaroo from the Thirty-sixth Universe–a creature who lives in a perfect realm. Because she is bored, Gracie longs for an adventure to St. Petersburg, Russia, a place she imagines is filled with beauty and enchantment. Much to the tiny ‘roo’s surprise, her ability to transport herself to the land of the czars has failed. She ends up at a dairy farm in St. Clair, Pennsylvania, where she saves the life of Gibson, an abandoned Maine coon cat.
The unlikely pair become fast friends. While Gracie tries to find her way back home, Gibson carves a life for himself on a farm with his newly adopted mistress, the farmer’s young daughter. There’s one hitch: The overworked farmer demands that Gibson earn his keep. Gibson’s task is thwarted somewhat when he experiences strange visions. But are these visions the result of a thrashing he received from the farmer’s two dogs? Or, maybe Gibson sees parallel universes?
As outsiders the little kangaroo and the cat from the city negotiate the perils of farm life. They meet two malicious rats who hate anyone who is happy. The two devoted friends must contend with stampeding cows and a barnyard of critters that have little use for newcomers.
Will Gibson keep his sanity and become the little girl’s pet? Will Gracie ever see the splendor of the Russian Versailles? Will the farmer survive the evil machinations of the rats, Bratwold and Eastman? Drift back to the days of Barbie dolls, hula hoops, and Sputnik to find out.
Imagine a little bitty kangaroo from another planet who can wear Barbie doll clothes. Now you’re seeing our main character in this story, Gracie. Gracie is innocent, comes from a world where there are no problems and she intended to go to Russia. Instead she ends up in Pennsylvania!
Gracie has no practical skills to speak of. She’s used to everything being available to her when she needs it. It’s not like that in our world. It’s a good thing that she finds a friendly cat who was dumped by the side of the road. Now she has some company in her predicament.
This is written for younger children who enjoy magic and animals. It’s a very human story even if it has an out of this world character. Think back to hula hoops, the Sputnik, and tea parties outside. This is a touch of the past with some challenges for both the farmer and the Maine coon cat / Gracie team.
I found Gracie to be a charming little creature who liked dressing up and didn’t know why people didn’t like her. There were times I felt like that as a child, so I could relate. The author’s human characters have their faults and she resolves those in the story, too.
There are mean rats, a wise old owl, a skunk, and the farm for Gracie to learn about. She does. She also keeps her enthusiasm for visiting St Petersburg. Why not take this trip with Gracie and share her adventures and then get ready for the next book. I know Gracie and Gibson are going to run into trouble. After all, the Maine coon cat is going with Gracie, right?