RSPCA Animal Tales series by various authors

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Random House, 2012.
Dog in danger by Jess Black. ISBN 1742753361
Night fright! by Jess Black. ISBN 1742753388
Race to the finish by David Harding. ISBN 1742753426
Lost in translation by Helen Kelly. ISBN 174275340X
(Age: 8+) Warmly recommended. Animals. Adventure. This new series of books that numbers eight, with two more due for release in December, 2012, will have instant appeal. All the stories are about 80 pages long and revolve around families and animals. Written under the auspices of the RSPCA, they have straight-forward plots, easily absorbed and recognised characters, and lots to learn about animal care and responsibility as the story is read.
Dog in danger has a family, Cassie, Ben and Dr Joe, going on a bushwalk and coming across another family whose dog, Snowy, has run off after a rabbit and become lost. Dr Joe works for the RSPCA and so is able to direct the group as to the best way to search. One is sent off to ask their neighbours and alert other people to join the search. Flyers are made and posted, and the weather checked for possible changes. Sure enough, the weather does change and as rain falls, the dog is found stuck on a ledge. In this short story we not only get an adventure story, engrossing and involving, but learn how best to search for a missing animal, how to go on a bushwalk and what the bush offers for walkers.
Similarly Night fright! has Cassie and Ben searching for the ghost that is making their neighbourhood jumpy. Noises in the night are spooking everyone until they find out the cause after Cassie and Ben decide to stay out all night in the hope of trapping the ghost.
Race to the finish takes a different turn from the others as it deals with greyhounds and a race when Ben's new friend's father trains and races greyhounds, a sport Cassie dislikes. Lost in translation has a group of vet trainees working with Dr Joe who are asked by ben and Cassie to help with their fundraising.
Each story has a different take on owning animals and the readers will certainly learn a great deal about the responsibility of owning a pet from this easily assimilated series of books.
Fran Knight