PAWS: Gabby Gets It Together

PAWS: Gabby Gets It Together
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
March 08, 2021
ISBN
978-0593351864
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Meet best friends Gabby Jordan, Priya Gupta, and Mindy Park. They’re different in just about every way—personalities, hobbies, family, and more—but they have a few important things in common: they’re all in the same class, they absolutely love animals, and for reasons that are as varied as the trio themselves none of them can actually have any pets.
 
Unable to resist the adorable temptation any longer, the girls decide to come up with a way to finally get their hands on some furry friends. And, as luck would have it, it seems like their neighborhood is in need of some afterschool dog-walkers. So, just like that, PAWS is born!
 
But it turns out that running a business is harder than it looks, especially with three co-owners who are such different people. The girls soon argue about everything, from how to prioritize their commitments to the best way to keep their doggy clients happy. And when their fighting ultimately leads to a doggo crisis, will it tear their business and friendship apart or will they be able to get it together to save the day?

Editor review

1 review
Graphic Novel Twist on Dog Walking Business
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
In this graphic novel, Gabby and her friends Priya Gupta and Mindy Kim LOVE animals, but can't have pets because of family allergies or living arrangements. They decide that watching YouTube videos of animals isn't enough, and they need to try to intereact with real animals. They try searching their neighborhood for animals who need to be rescued, to no avail, are turned away from volunteering at a shelter because they are too young, and decide that volunteering at a vet practice is too sad. When they see a dog peering at them through the windows of a house, they are enthralled, and very glad to make the acquaintance of Pickles' owner, a woman who works long hours at her tattoo parlor. She agrees to pay them $10 a day to walk Pickles, and the girls decide to develop a business. They put up flyers and get a number of dogs to walk, but run into a variety of problems. One of the mothers is allergic to dog fur, which leads to a whole process of changing clothes, and at one point, the girls go to a thrift store to obtain "uniforms" for their dog walking. (I'm with you, Mindy! I get all of my clothes from the thrift store, too!) There are also scheduling problems, and the girls find that they don't get to spend as much time together since the dogs have different needs and can't be walked together. School and sports schedules interfere as well, and there are some difficulties with people feeling underappreciated that lead to some fights. Will the girls be able to figure out their business model and make PAWS succeed?
Good Points
This is set in Vancouver, and has a nice neighborhood feel to it. I liked the brief descriptions of the girls' families and different parenting styles, and the parents show up just enough to offer support in a realistic way. The girls truly love animals and want what is best for them, but struggle to balance this with their own needs. The illustration style will be popular with fans of Jamieson and Holms, and the Canadian setting is great to see, and will delight fans of Goerz' Shirley and Jamila. I did especially enjoy that Priya was a soccer player and cross country star. (And yes, those two are hard to schedule at the same time!)

Children setting up a dog walking business has gotten a lot of coverage in middle grade literature, but almost always with female entrepreneurs, so it was good see something a little different. I don't think that middle school students are allowed to babysit as much as they were in the past.

This is a good graphic novel to go along with animal themed books like Venable's Katie the Catsitter, Lloyd and Nutter's Allergic, Miller's Besties: Work it Out or Lai's Pawcasso.
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