Everything at Hotel Strange is just a little different. Young readers will delight in following the adventures of a group of eccentric characters.
The adorable residents of Hotel Strange are busy planning a music festival, until thieves kidnap Marietta and Mr. Léclair. A cast of quirky characters sets out to rescue them. As usual in Hotel Strange, distractions abound. They must first solve the mystery of a missing sapphire to save their friends, and the festival!
Adventure lovers will like the surprising plot twists; fans of opera and cookies will appreciate the many times the story is derailed; everyone will be pleased that there’s a happy ending—even for the bandits.
The series opener of this French import, Wake Up, Spring (2015), began when the Hotel Strange swung wide its doors after a long winter’s nap. Now, it’s finally summer, and Marietta and the gang are getting the place ready for the big music festival. Everyone is helping out except Kiki, who is annoyed that everything’s so loud. When he becomes convinced a catastrophe is on its way, he and Marietta scramble to solve problems all over the forest. Is it the arrival of annoying but probably not catastrophic Ninette? What about the Arggoyle who wants to bring his horrible voice to the music festival? The real catastrophe, it turns out, is a band of robbers who kidnap Marietta so she might help them find their missing sapphire. Though the plot turns are occasionally puzzling—why, exactly, did the robbers need Marietta’s help?—the fine-lined figures, cartoon action, warm colors, and fanciful scenes make this fablelike title very appealing. A pleasant choice for young comics fans looking for a gentle fantasy adventure, even if they are new to the series.