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“Crows are amazingly smart animals,” Mom said. “But, Maggie Rose, we can’t let them depend on people for their food.” –Lily to the Rescue
Lily to the Rescue #1
by W. Bruce Cameron
Lily lives with her girl, Maggie Rose. Once a stray, Lily was rescued by the kind people at the animal shelter run by Maggie Rose’s mom. Now she has a very important purpose: to rescue other animals.
Lily helps other animals in the shelter and even helps a kitten who is stuck in a tree. When Lily meets a crow with a broken wing, she and Maggie Rose take the crow home to Mom. But when the crow, named Casey, starts to become too tame, some unexpected problems arise. Soon, Maggie is surrounded by crows who want to exchange pieces of shiny metal for peanuts!
Lily to the Rescue is told from Lily’s point of view, which allows the reader to see the world from a dog’s perspective. However, the story has some long paragraphs that focus on Lily’s thought process. While this may appeal to some readers, others may find Lily’s musing to be a bit boring. Lily’s thoughts are occasionally funny, but they always focus on being kind to other animals. This first installment of the series revolves around Casey, an injured crow, who learns how to open his cage, ride on Lily’s back, and bring trinkets in exchange for peanuts.
Readers also get a peek inside Maggie Rose’s home life, which shows a healthy family unit. Like most siblings, she doesn’t always agree with her brothers and they occasionally bicker. However, when Maggie Rose’s brother calls her a “runt,” he is appropriately punished and reminded of the importance of being kind.
Animal lovers ready for chapter books will enjoy Lily to the Rescue. Realistic black and white illustrations that have splashes of blue appear every 1 to 3 pages. The short chapters and illustrations of the animals will appeal to a wide range of readers. The story has many crow facts throughout and the end of the book has more interesting information about crows
Lily is admirable because of her kind nature and willingness to help other animals. There are several tender moments between Lily and other animals that will warm readers’ hearts. Another positive attribute of the story is that it teaches the importance of not feeding wild animals. Lily to the Rescue doesn’t have action, adventure, or magic, but Lily’s story has enough interesting events to entertain readers.
- A murder of crows attacks a hawk. “They were swooping down and trying to grab the hawk with their beaks. . . The hawk swooped and dove and changed directions, but there were so many crows pestering it, it finally gave up and flew away!”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Maggie’s brothers call her a “runt” a few times.
- “A group of crows is called a murder of crows. No one’s sure why. Maybe because they’ll surround a dead animal to eat it. But there are people who think that crows are evil and bring death.”