Review Detail

All Creatures Great and Small for Kids
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Jasmine lives on a farm in England with her mother, who is a veterinarian, her father, who raises sheep, younger brother Manu and older sister Ella. In previous books, she rescued a pig and a duck, and they now live on the farm. When she is out walking with her friend Tom, she finds a very neglected puppy who is so weak he can't even stand on his own. She brings the animal home and thinks about what her mother would do. She keeps him warm and gets him to drink a little water and eat some chicken. She asked her mother to bring home an IV set up, and together they clean the puppy and bring him back to health. It's a long haul, since Sky (what they name him) can't even walk by himself. He doesn't have a microchip, but someone does come forward with information about her brother, who mistreated a dog and said it had died. Jasmine wants to keep Sky, but her mother says it would be too much work. When Jasmine injures her leg while some distance from home, Sky is able to bring help to her, softening her mother's position, and Sky has a new job helping out on the farm.
Good Points
I would have absolutely adored this as a child. It's a perfect length (think Haywood's B is for Besty) and has lots of illustrations with a definite Garth Williams sort of vibe-- there is nothing that melts my heart more than a Williams' mouse illustration! The setting is fantastic, sort of James Herriot for the younger set. The detail about caring for Sky is what will sell this to young readers.

Previous books in this series have Jasmine dealing with a duckling and a pig, and young readers will be delighted at the number of animals with which Jasmine surrounds herself. The interactions with her siblings will also resonate.

Pair this with Rissi's Anna, Banana series, Cameron's A Dog's Purpose Novels, Klimo's Dog Diaries and Shotz's American Dogs for young readers who want to know all of the ins and outs of caring for canine companions.

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