What It Is
The Neatolinis are a family of neat-freaks, as their name suggests. They shampoo their walls and vacuum the lawn at their house on Ladybug Lane. However, young Angelina Neatolini is not neat at all. She likes to be dirty. When her parents say “no” to her request for a pet, Angelina wishes upon a star and a hard-of-hearing magic fairy ladybug grants her wish. But, the fairy gives her a “pest” instead of a “pet.” Into the house comes a parade of misfit pests, including a nondescript rodent who bakes and bees that are carpenters. They make a disaster of the house and of course, Angelina’s parents freak out. Angelina begs to keep the one pest that bakes. The Neatolinis eat his magic baked goods and fall under a spell, allowing him to stay. The end.
Why It’s Fun
I was immediately drawn to this because of its vivid, fun illustrations and offbeat characters. I also loved the concept of the Neatolinis and their messy daughter. Unfortunately, the story was a let down.
Who It’s For
The Neatolinis’ tale is geared for children aged four and up, but it’s one to check out at the library.
What To Be Aware Of
Children need to be able to make sense of a story, even if it is a fantasy. This one lacks such logic and seems forced.