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A whimsical, funny, heart-warming story for seven-to-nine year-olds, from a talented new storyteller.
This is the story of Toby, a little boy found in a room at a hotel by the sea. It is also the story of the Flots, a family of mermaids who are marooned under the pier. Together, the Flots and Toby plan how to help each other, find some buried treasure, and outwit Mr. Harris, the mean-minded hotel proprietor. In the process, Toby and the mermaids bring smiles to the faces of everyone they meet!
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Grade 3-5–Toby, an orphan, has lived in a seaside hotel since he was left there as a baby. Mr. Harris, the manager, allows him to stay on but makes him sleep in the attic and work to earn his keep. It is a lonely life for Toby until the day he meets a young mermaid named Eliza Flot on the beach. She takes him to the cave where her family has lived since all of the other mermaids went away and introduces him to her mother and father. Toby falls in love with the Flots and is touched by their kindness to him. When treasure seekers invade the beach, the mermaids' hiding place is jeopardized. With the help of a retired captain and Margot, Mr. Harris's elderly relative, Toby hides the Flots in the hotel by disguising them as wheelchair-bound guests. Before long, the manager suspects that something is amiss, and it is a race against time as Toby and his accomplices try to get the family to safety before Mr. Harris can reveal the truth to the media. Amusing black-and-white sketches depict the action. Toby is a charming and likable character. However, although the premise is promising, the story never reaches its full potential. Mr. Harris is a very flat character and many of the others are stereotypical. The mystery surrounding Toby's past is transparent and will be detected by readers long before the author divulges the secret. A secondary purchase.–Linda Zeilstra Sawyer, Skokie Public Library, IL
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Gr. 2-4. Orphaned Toby has lived in a seaside hotel ever since he can remember, wearing the same pair of pajamas and working as a servant for the hotel's owner, the thoroughly unpleasant Mr. Harris. Things pick up for Toby when he's out under the pier and hears a mermaid cracking mussels with her teeth. He eventually befriends Eliza Flot and her mermaid family, and they give him a duke's gold signet ring from their collection of sunken treasure. Unfortunately, when Mr. Harris spies it, he vows to comb the beach for the rest of the duke's treasure, lost 10 years ago in a shipwreck. Toby must warn the mermaids . . . but how, when the sneaky owner's son, Nigel, won't quit shadowing him? Readers who love Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach will adore this funny, old-fashioned orphan-finds-a-new-family tale. Bailey's spidery ink sketches of the pointy-nosed cast, about three per chapter, are as captivating as the story. Karin Snelson
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Book Description The Chicken House / Scholastic, NY, 2004. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First American edition, May 2004. Jacket protected in Gaylord acid free clear cover. 158 pages. Toby meets Eliza who is a mermaid. A lighthearted tale that young readers will fall for---hook, line, and sinker. Seller Inventory # 002441
Book Description Chicken House. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0439579759 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.2141258