When newsboy Nelson delivers the newspaper, he makes his customers smile — all but one. But an article questioning the fate of 100 abandoned kittens brings Nelson and his cranky old customer together in an effort to rescue the animals in Jodi Moore’s “Good News Nelson.”
After talking with his mother and the people at the animal shelter, Nelson comes up with a plan to try and find homes for the 100 cats. Sometimes a person, even a child, can bring about change in a situation — or even in a person. You must read the book to discover Nelson’s plan and how he carried it out. There is even a change in the crotchety woman.
Children who haven’t yet learned to read will love hearing “Good News Nelson” read to them because the pictures are vivid and the story moves along well. The book is written on a level that young readers of 9 or 10 can understand. The illustrations by Brendan Flannelly-King, in colored pencil, acrylic and collage, are colorful and almost tell the story.
Although Moore describes the old lady with the same words on at least two occasions, I realized as I continued to read that her writing style and the use of repetition paints a clear picture of this elderly woman. Describing her as wrinkly and waddling, Moore leads the reader to picture the old woman coming out on her porch each day to get her paper.
I will definitely give a copy of this book to my 9-year-old grandson. Moore’s tale will lend itself to good discussion between parents and children about problems and how to solve them. By the end of the story, it is clear that one person can effect a change. That is a lesson that is demonstrated in this story.
But young or old, all readers will just want to know what happened to the cats.