Title: Hound at the HospitalHound at the Hospital
Author: Ben. M. Baglio
Illustrator: Jenny Gregory
Pages: 133
Reading Level: 9 -12
Star Rating: ★★★

Animal Ark!

The Story.

Mandy is delighted when Danny Davies, an old friend of the Hopes and an inspector for SPCA, invites herself and James to visit his family in London and inspect their London animal hospitals. She’s even more excited to meet the Davies’ beautiful beagle, Sasha.

But shortly after Mandy and James arrive in London, tragedy strikes. While out investigating a reported case of animal abuse, Sasha is hit by a motorcycle.

Will Sasha recover? Or will Mandy and James’ holiday be completely ruined?

Discussion.

Although Mandy is in London for almost the entirety of the book, we still get a glimpse of the sweetness of her relationship with her parents. They call and speak together often on the phone, and Mandy becomes homesick. At the end of the book, despite the excitement of life in London, she is eager to return home.

As for Mandy’s notorious idealism, it is present in the volume, but in modified doses. Also, the actually case with which she is dealing is actually abusive, and thus justifies her anger. Still, she did rather stagger me when she pronounced “Dogs only whined and howled if their owners were cruel.” [pg. 35]

Seriously? My dog howls every time I go outside – and whines every time he wants to go outside. And no one can accuse my pooch of being anything less than the most loved-up dog in Texas.

The scene when Sasha is hit is very sad, and to make it worse, an illustration is included in which we see the injured dog lying with her neck underneath the tire of the motorbike. I’m not sure what the author, illustrator, or publisher could have been thinking to include that picture…

Girlfriends and boyfriends are mentioned. (None on the part of either Mandy or James, whose relationship remains platonic.)

Mandy tells a “white” lie.

Conclusion. Better than the typical Animal Ark installment.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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