Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Review: A Lamb Called Lucky by Helen Peters

Animal friends will enjoy today's review. It's for those readers just below the middle grade read level...a bit harder than chapter books but not quite ready for more complicated ones. Each book in the series finds its heroine, Jasmine, dealing with a different animal, and she does live with her family (parents and several siblings) on a farm. Of course, I could admit that the little lamb on the cover caught my eye on this one...isn't it cute? But I also loved the idea of having a book for this reader level, since I don't seem to get my hands on these very often.

But before I continue to babble away, take a peek for yourself.

Jasmine Green #5
by Helen Peters
Illustrated by Ellie Snowdon
Walker Books
144 pages
ages 7 to 10 

It's lambing time on the farm and Jasmine has her hands full. She has two orphaned baby birds to care for, as well as a tiny motherless lamb who needs her attention. She's determined to look after little Lucky and keep him safe. But there are bigger dangers facing the flock, ones that come in the dead of night...

 B&N    /    WALMART   /     AMAZON


                                            * for animal lovers
                                            * strong family relationships
                                            * subtly adds facts about how to care for animals 
                                            * lovely illustrations
                                            * mystery with some tension


I didn't read the other books in the series before picking up this one, but that wasn't a problem. this can be read as a stand alone, although there are references to occurrences in the other books.

It's lambing time, and Jasmine loves to help her parents keep an eye as the newborns arrive. When her brother and her discover two baby birds in the hay in the stall, they decide to take them in and raise them...although that isn't an easy thing to do. But when a new lamb's mother die, she has another baby to care for. Add the fact that someone has been stealing entire sheep herds, and she's got a lot on her plate to worry about.

This is one of those books, which is simply a good, well-done, wholesome read. And still, it grabs and even hits exciting tension toward the end. Jasmine is a kind girl with a huge love for animals. Her family has the usual tug and push, which comes with every day life, and both her mother and father are very busy. That leaves Jasmine with several responsibilities, and this also makes her interesting. She knows how to handle the newborn lambs and knows when to ask for help. And she's not perfect, either. She makes mistakes, argues with her siblings, and sometimes does things she know her parents wouldn't necessarily approve of. In other words, she's a normal girl.

The tale rotates around Jasmine's life on her family's farm, and I was afraid this meant a slow paced read. But it's not. The family in and outs, animals she needs to care for, unexpected twists, and high tension at the end made this a read which holds attention from beginning to end. 

It's not hard to see why this series does so well, and I can really recommend it to those readers from grades 2 to 4.

And here they are...

The Author...
Helen Peters is the author of numerous books for young readers that feature heroic girls saving the day. She grew up on an old-fashioned farm in England, surrounded by family, animals, and mud. Helen Peters lives in East Sussex, England.

The Illustrator...
Ellie Snowdon is a children’s author-illustrator from a tiny village in South Wales. She has a master’s in children’s book illustration from Cambridge School of Art. Ellie Snowdon lives in Cambridge, England.

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