Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes

illus. by Ramsey Beyer. 320p. Zest. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781936976621.
Gr 6 Up—Well-documented cases of animals rescuing men, women, and children are recounted with precision, organized into four divisions: domestic, trained, wild, and legendary animals. Campbell draws on opinions from professionals and anecdotal evidence, gleaned from ancient to modern times, to understand animal motivations. In an introduction, Campbell discusses whether we can ever know an animal's motivation and how to verify the accuracy of these accounts. The author's voice is strongly felt throughout, tinged with sarcasm, pathos, and a touch of belief mixed with skeptcism as to the existence of moral courage in these animals. Simple black-and-white illustrations serve as story markers. The text flows well, and the compact content is intense. Tender souls will weep over the family dog who was fatally injured saving his owner from a cougar, leaving his skull cracked and his body macerated. When the jaws of the cougar were prised from the head of the brave dog, he arose for the last time to make sure his beloved boy was safe. Similarly, Campbell describes a guide dog who led his master out of the Twin Towers, through the soot and cinders, later dying due to respiratory injuries, and a pride of lions that rescued a kidnapped 12-year-old Ethiopian girl from rape and abuse. The graphic nature of some of these stories make them more suitable for older readers, who may more easily process the plethora of serious issues. The documentation shines in this presentation.—Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA

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