Young Arabel’s life is changed forever when her father, a taxi driver, brings home an injured bird he finds in the street. This wacky raven eats everything in sight, answers the telephone by squawking “Nevermore!” and causes chaos wherever he goes—but Arabel loves her new feathered friend, whom she names Mortimer. Chaos follows Mortimer, the zany and impulsive raven, wherever he goes and the Jones family is not the same after young Arabel Jones discovers Mortimer in the family’s fridge early one morning. The Jones family’s affection for this odd pet is silly and outrageous, making for ridiculous adventures and wacky situations between a quirky but loving family and their outrageous black pet raven. Set in a small quaint village outside London more than half a century ago, readers will enjoy the old-fashioned British dialogue and wonderful descriptions of the place Mortimer quickly calls home in Rumbury Borough. A typical English supper at the Jones’ house is mince pies, cheese patties, tomatoes, and chips. Arabel’s weight is measured in stones. Mrs. Jones considers her nieces and nephews to be “a spoiled lot.” Babies are pushed about in prams, and soot from the family’s heating system falls into the hearth whenever Mortimer flies up into the chimney. Children (and their adult reading partners) will find great pleasure in these high-spirited engaging stories because the text is rich with wonderfully descriptive phrases as well as uniquely hilarious and witty situations. Fans of this classic story will picture a hairy-beaked raven squawking “nevermore” every time they hear a phone ring, and the thought of this crazy bird will be a delightful reminder of this fabulous story.
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