Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fiction Wednesday - A review of Aggie the Brave

There have been times when I have had to leave one of my pets at the veterinary clinic for a few hours or even overnight, and I must confess that every time I have done this I have felt ridden with guilt. I imagine that my dog or cat feels that I have abandoned him or her, and find it hard to concentrate on anything while I wait. Today's story is about how one little boy copes with having to leave his beloved dog Aggie at the vet's office.

Lori Ries
Illustrated by Frank W. Dormer
For ages 4 to 7
Charlesbridge, 2012, 978-1-57091-636-6
   Aggie has to go to the vet to be spayed. When they get to the vet’s office, Aggie refuses to get out of the car and her owner, Ben, has to pull her out. When she is finally out of the car, Aggie tries to hide, and then she tries to run away. Ben tells her that she needs to “Be Brave!” but Aggie has no interest to being brave in the least.
   Ben does not like the fact that he has to leave Aggie at the vet’s office. As he gives her a good-bye hug, he tells her to be good and to be brave. Unfortunately Ben finds it very hard to be brave himself, and in the car on the way home he bursts into tears. He misses his friend and playmate dreadfully, and getting through the rest of the day is very hard. All Ben wants is for tomorrow to come so that he and Aggie can be together again.
   Taking a pet to the vet can be a traumatic experience for both the pet and the owner, as is the case with Ben and Aggie. In this charming chapter book for beginner readers, we see how Ben copes with his own fears, and how he helps his pet to get through a trying experience.
   With three chapters and plenty of illustrations, this is a perfect title for young readers who are eager to start reading ‘real’ books.

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