Review Blog

Jan 29 2019

Puppy pandemonium by Belinda Murrell

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Pippa's Island book 5. Random House Australia, 2018. ISBN 9780143793267.
(Age: 8-10) Highly recommended. Themes: Friendship. Jealousy. Moving house. Pets.
Pippa's family are so close to moving into their new apartment above the island Beach Shack Cafe managed by Pippa's mother; but the builders still have a lot to do. Pippa has made the best of living squashed into a caravan with her siblings, but her good humour is wearing thin. Her best friends keep her sane, but for no real reason the jealousy she feels when one friend receives some awesome new clothes, starts to eat at her. Her desire for a new pair of bathers from the surf shop seems to be unsettling her every moment. Being stretched financially is the family norm, and a discussion with the friendly barista in the cafe leads to Pippa beginning her own business - as a dog walker. Eventually, friendship and family, combined with hard work, give her what she needs to find joy again.
Belinda Murrell writes a charming tale filled with friendship moments and simple plot complications that will be enjoyed by young female readers. The dog-walking venture adds a touch of humour as the dogs display their enthusiasm and lack of cooperation. Woven in and under the interactions within Pippa's friendship group, known as the Sassy Sisters, are the adult care and concern for others that is a wonderful model for young readers. A gentle, careful reflection about the small things that can unsettle us becomes a very readable story about life and growing up.
Highly recommended for readers aged 8-10.
Carolyn Hull

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