Friday, December 2, 2022

Pet Pals: Button's Talent Show by Allison Gutknecht, illustrated by Anja Grote

I haven't been super impressed with most of the choices from the Quix line, but I am in such need of beginning chapter books that I keep checking out the new series they release. I'm glad I did, because this one, although nothing new, was a fun addition that I'm sure my audience will like.

This is volume three of the "Pet Pals" a series about a group of friends in an animal shelter. The story opens with a cast of characters at Whiskers Down the Lane Animal Shelter. Buttons is a clever but shy kitten who can open cages and he is happy with his friends, hyperactive Mitzy the poodle, big Gus the guard dog, and cranky Luna the cat. He's even getting to know Ted, the manager. When Ted finds out that Buttons can do tricks, he think it's the perfect way to find someone to adopt him; but shy Buttons can't imagine coming out from under his blanket, let alone doing tricks! With the help and support of his friends, Buttons finds his courage and his own safe place, realizing that he doesn't have to go with just anybody and that there are things he can do for his friends too.

There are cute little black and white illustrations throughout the book and I like that this made a little twist on the typical animals-in-a-shelter book; Buttons doesn't end up with the perfect family all at once, even when he does manage to come out from his hiding place. All the different animals' personalities are expressed and accepted throughout the book, and Buttons' friends support him in standing up for what makes him feel safe and comfortable.

Verdict: There's nothing particularly new about the premise of this series, but I liked the emphasis on each animal finding the right family for their personality, not changing to match what the adopters wanted, and this is a good length and reading level, right between early reader and a typical beginning chapter book. A good addition to beginning chapter or early reader collections.

ISBN: 9781534474055; Published October 2022 by Aladdin; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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