Review Blog

Apr 04 2013

Juliet nearly a Vet: At the Show by Rebecca Johnson

cover image

Ill. by Kyla May. Puffin Books, Australia: 2013. ISBN 9780143307051.
Want to be a vet? Love animals and want to learn more about them? This is the series for animal lovers as Juliet and her best friend and neighbour Chelsea get involved with a variety of animals.
Ten year old Juliet's mum is a vet and after close observation of her work and helping out, Juliet thinks there's not much to it!
Juliet and her friend Chelsea accompany Juliet's mum, a vet, to Winslow Park Stud, a local dairy and home of class mate Maisy Brown. There they decide that Maisy will compete in the horse events on Shetland Pony Midgie, in this year's show, rather than spend all her time at the Bull pavilion where her dad shows his prize winning bull.
This shouldn't be a problem except the show is in a week, Maisy has never even seen the horse events and Midgie is stubborn, fat and not trained. With a great deal of confidence the girls embark on a feeding and training program to get Midgie into shape and ready for the day.
As the story progresses we learn more about show horses as Juliet makes her food plan and equipment list for Show Day. She also is given four bantam hens to look after and her pet Guinea Pigs need monitoring as they are almost due to give birth. A vet's life is a busy one but also worrisome when Chelsea and Maisy seem to be getting on too well.
Kyla May's pen and ink drawings of Midgie are reminiscent of Norman Thelwell's illustrations in Angels on Horseback and give extra life to the story, especially highlighting the differences between the other competitors and Maisy and Midge The sketch of the bantam house and Juliet's records as she does her vet checks help the reader to understand the serious side of pet care.
The multiple choice quiz at the end of reinforces the messages about pet care and friendship.
Sue Keane

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