Friday, November 13, 2020

The Jasmine Green Series

Peters, Helen and Snowden, Ellie. A Collie Called Sky (The Jasmine Green #3) 
September 1st 2020 by Walker Books Us
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Jasmine lives on a farm in England with her mother, who is a veterinarian, her father, who raises sheep, younger brother Manu and older sister Ella. In previous books, she rescued a pig and a duck, and they now live on the farm. When she is out walking with her friend Tom, she finds a very neglected puppy who is so weak he can't even stand on his own. She brings the animal home and thinks about what her mother would do. She keeps him warm and gets him to drink a little water and eat some chicken. She asked her mother to bring home an IV set up, and together they clean the puppy and bring him back to health. It's a long haul, since Sky (what they name him) can't even walk by himself. He doesn't have a microchip, but someone does come forward with information about her brother, who mistreated a dog and said it had died. Jasmine wants to keep Sky, but her mother says it would be too much work. When Jasmine injures her leg while some distance from home, Sky is able to bring help to her, softening her mother's position, and Sky has a new job helping out on the farm. 
Strengths: I would have absolutely adored this as a child. It's a perfect length (think Haywood's B is for Besty) and has lots of illustrations that have a Garth Williams sort of vibe-- there is nothing that melts my heart more than a Williams' mouse illustration! The setting is fantastic, sort of James Herriot for the younger set. The detail about caring for Sky is what will sell this to young readers. 
Weaknesses: Jasmine is on the bratty side. Her mother and father are busy with things, have good reasons for not wanting more pets, and yet she keeps insisting that she be allowed to keep Sky. 
What I really think: Sadly, I don't need anymore short chapter books, but I am sorely tempted to get this series in case I ever do. I hate to not have the whole series, and I don't think the pig and duck book would circulate well, so I will probably pass. 

Peters, Helen and Snowden, Ellie. A Kitten Called Holly (The Jasmine Green #4) 
September 1st 2020 by Walker Books Us
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

When a barn cat has babies, Jasmine and Tom are surprised to find them. They've scared the mother, and she moves two of the kittens, but leaves the third. Jasmine begs her mother to allow her to raise the kitten, and she does, with the warning that perhaps there is something wrong that they can't see. Holly does well, and Jasmine keeps her away from the other two family cats. Her mother is insistent that Holly find another home, and Jasmine is upset when a classmate who wants to adopt her only cares about what cat accessories she can get. It doesn't help that it was this girl's dog who killed a duck in a previous book. After Holly gets out and causes a lot of destruction, the mother says that the cat must go. Will Jasmine be able to find a home for Holly that makes her happy as well?
Strengths: The details about caring for a cat and getting it accustomed to humans were great, and the English farm setting was tremendously appealing. The illustrations add so much to the story and make it a warm and fuzzy read. 
Weaknesses: I'm not fond of Jasmine's behavior and was very glad when her mother did not give in to her requests to have a third cat!
What I really think: I really enjoyed this, but will pass on purchasing. I would definitely buy this whole series for an elementary library.

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