A Kitten Called Holly (Jasmine Green Rescues) by Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon. Walker Books, 2020. 9781536210279.
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? While clearing out a farm shed to create a new clubhouse, budding animal rescuers Jasmine and Tom discover that the shed is already home to a mother cat and three new kittens. Annoyed at the intrusion, the mother moves two of the kittens, but leaves the third behind. Jasmine’s veterinarian mother advises the kids that this likely means there are health concerns about the third kitten and it may not survive. Nevertheless, Jasmine and Tom decide they are going to take care of it in hopes of adding yet another pet to Jasmine’s household menagerie. Tom names the kitten Holly, which seems fitting given the approaching Christmas season, and the two kids work hard to nurse Holly to health and introduce her to the other animals to prove to Jasmine’s parents that she will make a great addition to the family. When they bring the other kittens into the house for a visit, chaos ensues (involving a Christmas tree and a dining room table set for a dinner party), and Jasmine is told in no uncertain terms that Holly will have to be given away. One of Jasmine’s schoolmates, Bella Bradley, (the villain of a previous story in the series) is slated to receive Holly as a Christmas gift, but when that deal falls through, Jasmine and her parents come up with the perfect solution for Holly’s new home.
This is another winning entry in this chapter book series, which will be especially appreciated by young cat fans who might think there are too many dog stories out there. The bond between Jasmine and Tom (which has been consistently solid throughout the series so far) is further strengthened; the characters of Jasmine’s parents and siblings continue to develop, and give context to Jasmine’s passion for rescuing animals. There is a question and answer section with Jasmine about raising kittens and the safety of feral cats, and a 1st chapter sneak peek of Book 5 in the series.
Anything you did not like about the book? No
To whom would you recommend this book? Middle elementary readers who can’t get enough of animal rescue stories – fans of such series as Animal Ark, Puppy Place, Kitty Corner, will find these a step up in terms of substance and story.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.
Date of review: 12/29/2020