Animal Rescue Friends by Meika Hashimoto and Gina Loveless, illustrated by Genevieve Kote. Epic/Andrews McMeel, 2021. 9781524867348
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Four kids get involved with rescue pets and come to be friends in this early elementary graphic novel. Maddie finds a lost pit bull at the park, and takes him to Animal Rescue Friends, the neighborhood shelter. Bell volunteers at the shelter and becomes fond of Kiki, a surrendered ferret. Mikey, who is very shy and stutters, meets an injured rabbit at the rescue and sees in it a kindred soul. Noah becomes attached to a stray cat he names Pepper. Each child finds that a rescued animal helps them personally; even the bully, Jimmy becomes a better person.
Easy to read, standard shaped panels, bright colors and bold black typeface make this perfect for kids learning to navigate graphic novels. An engaging extra section entitled “We Make Comics” at the end provides insight into the process the authors and other collaborators use to produce a graphic novel.
Anything you didn’t like about it? The story is really simplistic!
To whom would you recommend this book? Offer to early elementary graphic novel readers who have enjoyed books at the reading level of the Mr. Wolf’s Class series by Aron Nels Steinke, and to kids who love reading about animal rescue.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries. This is a supplemental purchase for libraries that can’t keep graphic novels on the shelves.
Where would you shelve it ? Graphic novels
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: July 20, 2021