Book Review: Ida Louise and The Lucky Sweater

Ida Louise and The Lucky Sweater

About The Book

Ida Louise lives on a strawberry farm with her grandparents and Poochie Pat le D-O-Gee, her snowy white puppy. The farm is in Norway, land of fjords and lush valleys where Ida Louise and Poochie Pat like to play. Ida Louise doesn t always feel confident, but when she wears the sweater Grandpa brought her from one of his trips to another town, she feels very special.

When Grandpa takes her to the art museums, Ida Louise allows her imagination to transport her to the places and times she sees in the paintings. On the wall in her room she has a framed postcard of her favorite painting, a valley of beautiful flowers.

While playing in the valley one day Poochie Pat and Ida Louise find one unusual flower blooming. She has only seen flowers like this one in her favorite painting and wonders how it came to grow in her valley. She names the lone red flower Mystic Rosie Petal de la Fjord and they become friends, for Ida Louise discovers this flower talks! Mystic Rosie was sad that no other flower looked like her. She wondered how she grew in this valley and where her family lived. Mystic Rosie, Ida Louise and Poochie Pat set off on a trip to look for other flowers like Mystic Rosie. Ida Louise was confident they would find Mystic Rosie s home, because she was wearing her lucky sweater and wonderful things happen when Ida Louise wears her lucky sweater.

After a long walk and some help along the way, the travelers find the valley depicted in Ida Louise s favorite painting. Flowers just like Mystic Rosie were blooming everywhere. They meet Mystic Rosie s grandparents and learn her parents no longer live because their section of the valley had been fenced in for sheep to graze. Ida Louise comforts her friend telling her she doesn t need parents to feel loved, she just needs friends. On their way back through the nearby town Ida Louise sees several girls wearing sweaters like hers and begins to understand it wasn t the sweater that was special, it was Ida Louise, herself.

Julie Augensen's charming story insures an enjoyable read-aloud experience for child and adult. As the paintings in the art museums awaken Ida Louise s imagination, Cartalya Davis vivid illustrations of life and landscape in Norway invite the reader into the story. Learn how Ida Louise solves the mystery of how Mystic Rosie came to grow in her valley. Ida Louise s story serves as an engaging introduction to Norway and to the world of art. Children and adults alike will have their own adventure when they visit an art museum or library together to learn more about art and Norway.

My cousin just returned from a trip to the Huntington Library where he saw the Children’s Garden, the Rose Garden, the big glass-domed Conservatory, and the main mansion holding the European art collection.  He saw some special exhibits such as Greene and Greene Craftsman furniture, and the special exhibit “Visions of Empire, The Quest for a Railroad Across America, 1840-1880.”  But  the best sight was the portrait gallery, part of the European art display.  This is where the famous Blue Boy and Pinkie paintings are. I'm so glad he had this wonderful experience. Have you been to a museum?

My Thoughts, My Review 

Beautifully written book by Julie, taking readers on an amazing journey of beauty, imagination, discovery and inspiration. I especially like the main character, Ida who lives in a valley of the fjord in Noway by a strawberry farm. I love the small town feel and can almost smell the Mystic Rosie that is wonderfully described and illustrated. In the beginning, 10 year old Ida has a few  doubts about herself but with a magic sweater, her confidence soars with the love and support of friends and the confidence in herself to help Mystic Rosie find her family.

I really do think a lot of people, of all ages, would like this story. I loved it and it was everything I was hoping for and more.  ***** stars!

The author, Julie Augensen lives with her husband, son and two cats in the Tampa, Florida area where she entertains children with her delightful stories. Julie Augensen's charming story insures an enjoyable read-aloud experience for child and adult.  Ida Louise and The Lucky Sweater is her first book.

The illustrator, Cartalya Davis lives in Tampa, Florida where she graduated with a degree in computer animation. 

For more information, visit the author's site, www.JulieAugensen

Julie's book publisher,

Kind Regards,

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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