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  • By LK Gardner-Griffie
    Oct 12, 2009
    "Stump's Delight" Stumps in the Cellar begins with 7 year old Colin Whilliker moving to a new house with his parents. The problem was, in Colin's opinion, the house was too old and decrepit to move into. He didn't understand how his dad could be so happy moving into such a wreck, and it didn't seem to bother his mother either. Most of the windows were either broken or missing. The porch sagged at one end. The paint was peeling, and there was a big hole in the ground filled with old garbage not too far away. "Well," Colin thought to himself, "at least the garbage may be interesting." While his parents were working on fixing up the house, Colin decided to go exploring. His dad told him to not go in the creek and to keep the house in view. In trying to get a better look at the creek, without going too close, he climbed to the top of a small hill. What Colin didn't realize is that he was now standing smack-dab on top of the Stump's house, which was built... More > underneath the hill. The Stump's appear to be small people, although not to be confused with the little people who live across the meadow. Bertram (Bertie) Stump is an irascible old man, who just wants to be left alone, doesn't like visitors, and likes to threaten Colin about what he will do if Colin walks on his roof again. All of the bad-tempered blustering by Bertie is waved away by the goodness of Hennifred, his wife. Hennifred is definitely an optimist and looks to make the best of any situation. One of my favorite Hennifred moments comes when the fruit cellar has been flooded and Hennifred regards it as a bonus because she now has a swimming pool. Colin quickly makes a new best friend in neighbor Tish. Tish is definitely a tom-boy and loves to fish, get dirty, and has spotted something that she wants to set traps for. Based on her description, Colin figures that what she thinks might be an animal is actually the Stump's, so he has to gather up his courage to go and warn them. While the warning about the traps that Tish was going to set helped to improve Colin's relationship with Bertie, accidentally flooding their house, and later smoking them out and causing them to lose their home stretched the bounds of Bertie's already not so good nature. That's when Colin had the idea to let the Stump's live in the cellar. The title alone is delightful for the target age group of 8-10 year olds. I find that this story is something that most of that age group can identify with. Colin is a very likable youngster and though trying his best, tends to get himself into trouble somewhere along the way. The illustrations throughout the book are engaging, and Mr. Smallman has put together a book that is sure to amuse his readership. While a fun read there are several questions throughout the book which remain unanswered, and the book ends with a big cliff hanger, which leads me to believe that we may soon have another story with the Stump's to devour. Reviewed for the Lulu Book Review LK Gardner-Griffie, author of Misfit McCabe< Less
  • By Jeff Smallman
    Mar 24, 2009
    "Great!" I received the following in an email: This is the most wonderful children's book I have ever read! You caught my attention within the first few pages, which encouraged me to want to read more and finally the complete book. You are a talented writer with a great imagination. C. Georgian
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Product Details

First Edition
Jeff Smallman
December 3, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.44 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
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