Alan Armstrong started volunteering in a friend's bookshop when he was eight. At 14, he was selling books at Brentano's. As an adult, every so often, he takes to the road in a VW bus named Zora to peddle used books. He is the editor of Forget Not Mee & My Garden, a collection of the letters of Peter Collinson, the 18th-century mercer and amateur botanist. He lives with his wife, Martha, a painter, in Massachusetts.
Gr 4-6-Alan Armstrong's novel (Random, 2005), a Newbery Honor book, is actually about two different Whittingtons and a boy named Ben. First, we meet Whittington the tomcat who is forced to leave his home and goes off in search of a home and a family to call his own. He soon meets Lady the Duck who invites him to live with her and the other inhabitants of a barn owned by a kindly man, Bernie, who has two grandchildrenAAbby and Ben. Ben is dyslexic and is having trouble in school, so the animals start reading lessons in the barn. When the lessons are done for the day, Whittington the cat tells a story about his namesake, "Dick Whittington and the Cat." Young Dick Whittington leaves his grandmother for the "golden streets of London," only to find that they are far from golden. The three charactersAWhittington the cat, Ben, and Dick WhittingtonAcome to realize that they must learn how to trust if they are ever going to overcome the obstacles in their lives. Joel Rooks's narration brings all the characters to life in this delightful story, making listeners feel like they are in the barn sharing the secrets of the animals and the children. A wonderful addition to school or public library collections.-Traci Glass, Southeast Regional Library, Gilbert, AZ Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"This superior novel interweaves animal fantasy and family story
with a retelling of the English folktale "Dick Whittington and His
Cat." Teachers and librarians...take note: Whittington reads aloud
beautifully, and the extended happy ending will leave everyone
smiling in delight." --School Library Journal, starred