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

Monday, 19 October 2015

Review: Outback Rescue (Pup Patrol #4)

In the fourth book of this fantastic Australian series, we see James, temperamental Ace, and Stamp set out again in the Fourby. Leaving the Great K9 Festival, they travel towards Normanton and the Gulf. Driving across the top end is boring, for it’s endless road and nothing else. They are stopped at a metal barrier and advised to head back east. Due to the recent flooding after the cyclone, the roads are now impassable.

Turning back, they head towards Wahee Creek but end up at a billabong camp. Mick the camp master suggests they stay until the road opens. This gives the Ace and Stamp the opportunity to exercise and get friendly with the camp dogs. But the unsociable Ace discovers that camp dogs aren’t always friendly, and that good behaviour in someone else’s home is always the best policy.

Mick draws a map for James and mentions that two tourists have become lost. They discuss the dangers of outback travel and Mick cautions James to stay on the middle road, stressing the danger of the dry, powdery bulldust they will encounter.

Their travels are never without mishaps. After leaving the dust behind, Stamp saves Ace from a being bitten by a snake. An abandoned car and a smelly pair of socks, send Ace sniffing a scent trail. What will she uncover? Mystery, adventure and suspense fill the friends’ days as they make their way through the outback.

I learn so much about the Australian outback from the Pup Patrol series. It’s entertaining and educates without seeming to. As the dogs are personified, we are always aware of what they are thinking, feeling, and saying to each other. The strong friendship between man and dog is a binding thread woven though the story.

All the series is consistent in layout and set up. It opens with an introduction by Stamp, followed by a Who’s Who list of characters. Stamp’s Glossary of words in bold type appears at the end of each chapter. In this title, A Word on Breed Behaviour gives relevant information about breed characteristics. Lastly, A Word about Snakes and Spiders is added to make young readers aware of the possible dangers that come with snakes and spiders, creating a link to Ace and Stamp’s dangerous encounter.

Previous titles in the Pup Patrol series include:
Farm Rescue
Bush Rescue
Storm Rescue

Title: Outback Rescue (Pup Patrol #4)
Author: Darrell and Sally Odgers
Illustrator: Janine Dawson
Publisher: Scholastic Press, $9.99 RRP
Publication Date: August 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781743623022
For ages: 6+
Type: Junior Fiction

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