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Summary: Abby loves animals...except for her sister Tess who pretends she's a dog. Abby wants a pet...except that they live in an apartment. When Mrs. Wilson goes on vacation, Abby jumps at the chance to be a pet-sitter for their neighbor. It's a big responsibility, but she knows she can do it! Tess, trying to be helpful, decided to give the goldfish a bubble bath. It makes her feel better, so why not the fish? Abby was furious. So furious that she divided their bedroom in half and marked it with tape. How could Tess make such a big mistake? It didn't take long for Abby to discover the answer: within days she lost the key to their house and Mrs. Wilson's too! Having banished Tess, she had no one to blame but herself. How would she get out of this jam? This is a mystery/animal stories series for transitional readers that features two sisters.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 10
Reading Level: 3.7
Age of Child: Read with 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter - also an animal lover - has had lots of fun with this book. She giggled at the title (which is why she picked it) and was glued to our side as we read a couple chapters each night. The lessons about making mistakes and the perils of blaming others really struck her.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a cute, humorous story that weaves life lessons in the plot. The author does a great job of laying out events and consequences in ways that the audience can process and understand them. They are there but don't overtake the story itself. We've read other books about making mistakes, but our daughter immediately saw the lesson with this story.
Pros: Animal lovers and sibling girls will enjoy this humorous, life-like story of two sisters who are learning about growing up.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This looks like it will be a fun set of books for animal/pet lovers to have on hand to read and re-read. This has the potential to be a well-worn book, much like Nancy Drew was for many of us.
Educational Themes: There is plenty to enjoy with this story: sibling rivalry, acceptance, responsibility, choices and consequences, and how to deal with people. The author does an excellent job creating natural pauses where you can talk about what Tess or Abby have done/not done and open a "what would you do" discussion.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - mystery, adventure, family, easy reader series
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2009, September 2014
Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at amazon.com.