STARRED REVIEW
January 30, 2018

Seven siblings stick together

By Natalie Lloyd
Review by

Award-winning author Natalie Lloyd whittles a fortune-telling nursery rhyme (“Monday’s child is fair of face”) into the wacky adventures of seven beguiling children.

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Award-winning author Natalie Lloyd whittles a fortune-telling nursery rhyme (“Monday’s child is fair of face”) into the wacky adventures of seven beguiling children.

Meet the Problim children, each born on a different day of the week: Mona, Toot, Wendell, Thea (Wendell’s twin), Frida, Sal and Sundae. An explosion demolishes the children’s Swampy Woods home, leaving them homeless. Fortunately, moving to another location shouldn’t be a problem, since they have the deed to Grandpa Problim’s Victorian mansion. Regrettably, they have no additional proof that will keep them in the house, and their parents, who are off on a mission, cannot vouch for them. Even more problematic is their next-door neighbor, Desdemona O’pinion, who covets the old mansion and will do everything in her power to turn the neighborhood against the children. With 21 days to come up with evidence of their rightful ownership, the children have to devise a plan to win over their neighbors before Desdemona’s clandestine plan to get rid of the children goes into effect.

Lloyd’s newest middle grade read is nothing less than a rip-roaring, rollicking ride through a wild and wacky world. Indeed, Lloyd has pulled out all literary stops to produce her inimitable cast. Replete with fascinating idiosyncrasies, including a numerically categorized list of farts from the youngest in the troupe, the seven children use their creativity to deal with life’s problems—of which there are plenty, especially with Desdemona continually stirring up trouble. Lloyd’s lyrical narrative and fun-loving storytelling are lightly sprinkled with rhymes, circus spiders, lively plants, a purple squirrel and even onomatopoeia—just to name a few.

The first in a new series that has silver-screen potential, The Problim Children flows from one crazy scene to the next with all the makings of a new favorite.

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The Problim Children

The Problim Children

By Natalie Lloyd
Katherine Tegen
ISBN 9780062428202

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