Emerson profiles three animals with disabilities featured in The Dodo’s “Little but Fierce” online video series.
In two to three sentences per page, the author introduces a tiny trio. Vera, a French bulldog, “could fit into a teacup,” and her cleft palate made eating difficult; Cody, an alpaca, was too small to stand on her own; and Karamel, a squirrel, was injured in a trap, necessitating the amputation of her four legs (referred to as “arms”). Fortunately, patient humans nursed each back to relative health: “It only takes a little love to make a BIG difference!” Fans of cuddly animals will enjoy the cheery color photos as Vera mugs at the camera, Cody poses in a unicorn costume, and Karamel zooms with her wheeled prostheses. Kids with disabilities may find their furry counterparts comforting or cool. Though the text frames the plucky animals’ disabilities positively, it occasionally does so via clichés that humans with disabilities encounter all too often—though Vera is small, she “doesn’t let that stop her”; Cody “may be tiny, but her heart is BIG!” The page layout is rather busy. Against a graph-paper background, bright blue, green, pink, and yellow borders and text boxes compete with photos and text; occasional blue text against blue background is somewhat hard to read. A glossary defines terms printed in the narrative in boldface, such as “surgery” and “prosthetic.”
A warm and fuzzy look at animals living with disabilities. (Informational early reader. 6-8)