Monday 14 August 2023

The Pet Wish (The Wish Sister series)

The Pet Wish (The Wish Sister series) by Allison Rushby & Karen Blair (UQP) Paperback, Junior Fiction, RRP $12.99 ISBN 9780702265952

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Allison Rushby is an award-winning children’s author with more than 20 books to her name. She is spectacular at writing middle grade books. Allison Rushby along with Megan Daley and Allison Tait run the popular parent Facebook group Your Next Kids Read.

The Pet Wish is the fourth book in this popular series. Flick and her little sister, Birdie, are helping a local senior’s group – The Busybodies, raise money for animals in need. Some special animals are hoping to find their fur-ever homes. Things go haywire when Birdie wishes and makes the animals even more special so that they can be adopted. How can Flick and Oli keep a rainbow cat, a dancing dog, and a puppy a secret when there’s an annoying photographer taking photos?

Allison Rushby has created a charming read. Her short well written sentences keep a young reader engaged and support those beginning to read independently.  The active verbs and vocabulary are perfect for younger readers. Rushby writes about child-relatable topics very well. Since Birdie had discovered she could wish, a lot of funny things had been happening. A unicorn party had appeared in their back garden, along with a real-life unicorn.

The dialogue is warm and friendly and suits each character and their unique personalities. Birdie is a baby and although she can make wishes, her dialogue matches her age. ‘Gah!’ Birdie nodded on Flick’s hip, ‘Gah, gah, gah!’ The text is easy to understand but it’s not predictable. Rushby allows the younger reader to anticipate, and page turn to find out more. I love that the imp remains hidden in the pages until it’s ready to unexpectedly appear. A snorty laugh came from somewhere behind them in the tent. ‘What was that?’ Mr Adams whipped around. ‘What was that snorty laugh?’

Karen Blair’s purple cover has a sparkly wish blurb and features Flick, Birdie, and a rainbow cat. Inside the book, Flick and Birdie are warm and friendly, and the imp is cheeky and full of mischief. Because the book is for children developing independent reading skills, the illustrations appear when needed. The full-page illustrations paint the scenes well and the little sprinkles of illustrations on some pages add just the right touches.

The Pet Wish (The Wish Sisters) is a great addition to any bookshelf. A child who is beginning to read independently is well supported by the text and the illustrations. The topics magic and wishes are ones children love. The Pet Wish is recommended for children aged six and older. I can see this book appealing to parents and teachers, too.

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