Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 81
Helping Out Friends
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
Millie and Daisy have been living at Danny and Ron's Rescue since Hurrican Katrina left them homeless. Daisy is very scared of anything that approaches a storm, even gentle rain. Daisy tries to encourage Millie to deal with her fear, and helps a little by supporting her friend. Daisy is very excited about the prospect of getting adopted, and the two dogs agree that they should be adopted together, and embark on some research as to what makes dogs appealing. This results in them trying to become "fluffy" by rolling in the mud, getting into clean laundry because they feel matching outfits might help, and other highjinks. Daisy, however, starts to realize that she just wants to stay where she is, even though she would miss her friend. To this end, she starts spending more time away from her friend, and working on her own strategies to be less adoptable. The two dogs also work with a younger dog, Luna, to overcome her extreme shyness which is getting in the way of finding her her forever home. Will Millie and Daisy both be able to find a home that makes them happy?
Good Points
Like Elmer and the Talent Show and Moose and the Smelly Sneakers, this book is based on animals that lived in Danny and Ron's Rescue, and includes photographs of the animals in addition to Catrinella's charming black and white illustrations. At just over 100 pages each, this series is a great length for readers who are looking for slightly longer titles than Clarke's Dr. Kittycat, Coe's Fenway or Higgin's Good Dog books.

Millie and Daisy's story doesn't have as much input from the human characters, and their attempts to get adopted are humorous because we know it's a little unlikely that dogs will try to dress themselves. Their counseling of Luna is also a bit unusual, but it's a fun way for children to think about what goes through a dog's mind!

There is a little bit of information at the end of the book about Hurrican Katrina and the start of the dog rescue operation; I'd almost like to see a nonfiction book about this. To young readers, Hurricane Katrina was a very long time ago, yet there are still storms that result in many dogs ending up in rescues in other states. A nonfiction title about that would be very useful.

Friendship is an appealing topic, whether it is about human or canine friendships, and I loved how Millie and Daisy supported each other even though they had different goals. Hand this to fans of Cameron's Lily to the Rescue, Miles' The Puppy Place, and West's The Underdogs. Good Dogs on a Bad Day and Crimi's Secondhand Dogs are also good depictions of rescue dogs for slightly more advanced readers.
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