Saturday 16 June 2012

168. Rainbow Street Pets by Wendy Orr

Rainbow Street Pets by Wendy Orr
Published June 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:

What would you do if you lost a pet? Where would you go if you found one? At the Rainbow Street Shelter a cockatoo will greet you and a little round dog will make you welcome. All the animals there need children to be their friends. Meet Bear the border collie, Buster the marmalade cat, and Bessy the goat, as well as rabbits and guinea pigs and mice. There's even a pony called Pebbles, but where does a lion cub fit in?

This collection of short stories is bound to appeal to all young animal lovers.

Each story focuses on a different animal, but the connecting factor between all of the stories is the Rainbow Street Shelter. The Rainbow Street Shelter is the place to go if you find a lost animal and it's also the place to go if you are looking for that perfect pet.
While the stories stand alone, there are some characters that appear in a number of the stories; Mona, who runs the shelter, Bert a volunteer at the shelter, Fred the 3 legged goat and Gulliver the cockatoo who thinks he is the receptionist!  All of the stories are about children who either have pets already or those who desperately want them.  The stories are all very positive, and while the children may not always get the pet that they want, they all end up with some sort of happy compromise.  As the stories all revolve around the Rainbow Street Shelter, there is a real sense of community in the stories, and most of the children go to the same school, so children from one story may crop up as a friend in another, or may be mentioned in the background.

For those that don't love short stories, this book would probably be a good choice to give them another try, because of the connection between each of the stories.  I have had feedback that the book is too thick for the children that the book is aimed at, it's 352 pages.  I don't think real readers will be put off by the size, but it will also work really well as a read aloud, so teachers should keep it in mind.

Who will like this book: Girls and Boys age 7+ Read it if you like: RSPCA Animal Tales

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