I was asked to review the first book in this series, The Beckett List, and I fell in love with it! Actually, I decided to read it to the kids as a read aloud for school and we all loved it. When Algonquin Books reached out and asked me to review book 2, All Pets Allowed, I was thrilled and said YES. When I told the kids I had this opportunity they were so excited as well.
In book one we meet Rebecca Branch, or Becket, and her family as they transition from a life in the city to a life in the country when Becket’s parents move their veterinary practice and family to Blackberry Farm. Here we learn how Becket sees the world and how different she is from her twin brother, Nicholas. We also learn what a BEAUTIFUL ALERT is and how to look for the good and beautiful in life, even when it’s not what we hoped for or expected.
In book 2, All Pets Welcome, readers are taken along as Becket and Nicholas take on the adventure and unexpectedly hard job of owning pets. Becket has been dreaming of a dog but much like everything else in their lives Nicholas doesn’t agree and wants a cat. Turns out after a trip to the animal shelter, they both get their wish. Dibs the dog and Given the cat join the Branch family on the farm. Each kid had their own idea of what pet ownership was going to be and as we all know, it didn’t go according to plan. Dibs is going to need a lot of training and Given is a little more social than Nicholas had hoped. These personality differences led to some hard lessons in patience and acceptance.
We enjoyed so many laughs and learned how to adjust expectation as Becket and Nicholas navigated this new responsibility. We also learned the struggles of making new friends, taking on new responsibilities, working through sibling strife and time management.
I would recommend this sweet, funny, clean, children’s book for all children, either as a read aloud and or for individual reading. I recommend ages up to middle grades for read aloud and mid elementary and above for individual reading. Oh, and I can’t not mention the really cute and sweet illustrations by LeUyen Pham, they really brought the story to life.
I give All Pets Allowed 4 stars