'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 24 May 2015

Review: Farm Rescue (Pup Patrol #1)

Pup Patrol is a new series built around working dogs; their role, and relationships with their human partners. The dogs are personified and it’s through the point of view of Stamp, a Border Collie and part of the Pup Patrol, that we hear the story.

Stamp and James Barnaby his mate (not called his owner) have been out camping in their 4WD. After three days of steady rain, and with the river nearby close to flooding, they decide to pull into the nearest farm and ‘sleep dry’, while offering help to farmer Glen in return. Stamp is disgruntled at having to sleep in the barn, so James joins him. They have issues to sort out.

Farms are flooded and sheep are stranded on banks. Bridges get swallowed by rising water. It seems that men and working dogs have their work cut out for them.

A boat is the only way to reach the men and sheep in difficulties. Stamp and James set out to see what help they can offer.

Rusty, Glen’s dog, is getting old. Soon a new pup will have to join him to learn the ropes. There are many dogs waiting for placement. But it’s the wild, untrained, but clever, Ace that gets chosen to join Rusty as apprentice. He and Stamp will be drawn together in the future.

This is a thrilling new adventure series for young readers. I confess to being a dog lover, and welcome all kinds of stories involving working dogs which I salute wholeheartedly. Written with great insight into the habits of our animal friends, these stories reveal the different types and temperaments of dogs, and the significant roles that challenge and fulfil them.

Themes of friendships between animals, humans and animals, and ageing both in humans and animals, stand out against the vivid images of farming life, and the valuable part dogs play in the farming community.

Stamp’s Glossary defines the language used by Stamp. This appears at the end of each chapter. Facts about Dogs lists interesting information about working dogs and their habits.

Janine Dawson has done a wonderful job with her delightful interpretation of the characters and their situations. Darrel and Sally Odgers have another winner on their hands. I am perhaps the biggest fan of the Pet Vet series and Jack Russell mysteries as I saw my dog in each of the lead roles.

Title: Farm Rescue (Pup Patrol #1)
Author: Darrel and Sally Odgers
Illustrator: Janine Dawson
Publisher: Scholastic Press, $9.99 RRP
Publication Date: March 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781743622995
For ages: 6+
Type: Junior Fiction