"A fun-loving animal rescue tale to remember"– Kirkus Reviews
In this children’s picture book, two goldfinches work hard to protect their chicks when a storm brews.
A house in the woods has a south-facing covered porch with a hanging basket of pretty pink flowers. Mr. and Mrs. Finch believe it’s just the place to raise a family. They build a nest in the basket, and soon, Mrs. Finch lays three white eggs. The parents take turns sitting on the nest, and after the chicks hatch and grow, they also take turns feeding and sheltering the hungry nestlings. One day, though, a frightening storm arises. Mr. and Mrs. Finch spread their wings protectively over the chicks—she in the nest, he on the basket’s handle. After an exhausting struggle against wind, rain, and hail, the birds make it through safely. Allensworth (Mister Hamster’s Rescue, 2017) reassures young readers in this simple, dramatic tale that no matter how hard things get, parents will stand strong and make sure no harm comes to their babies. This theme is effectively echoed by the human house-dweller, who carefully avoids disturbing the nest. Merkt’s (Chuck and Jack Meet at Summer Camp in the Sierra Mountains, 2016, etc.) images are attractively detailed, dominated by green and gold and emphasized by black outlines; the anthropomorphic birds display clear emotional expressions.
A nice combination of drama and warmth with pleasing illustrations.
A family comes up with a creative solution to rescue their pet hamster in this clever based-on-a-true-story adventure from debut author Allensworth.
Mr. Hamster has a very happy life with his owner, Ricky, and his family: Mom, Dad, older brother Jerry, little sister Mary Rose, Jason the black lab, and Spooky the black cat. Ricky takes very good care of the little guy, but one day, Ricky forgets to shut the cage door. When Mr. Hamster decides to explore, he falls down a heat vent and becomes trapped two stories down. Unable to find the hamster after the whole family searches, Ricky is distraught. Finally, it’s Jason who sniffs out Mr. Hamster’s location and Dad who comes up with a brilliant plan (no spoilers!) to bring the hamster back up. The cartoon illustrations by an unnamed illustrator add extra details to the plot: Ricky’s tears reveal just how upset he is after blaming himself for Mr. Hamster’s disappearance, and the cutaway images of the family around the vent give an excellent sense of scale. The story is told in an accessible vocabulary for young readers, with simple sentences and few challenging words. But it’s not the illustrations or the storytelling style that provide the hook: It’s Ricky’s dad’s clever solution that kids will love.
A fun-loving animal rescue tale to remember.