Jasmine Green Rescues: A Lamb Called Lucky

Walker/Candlewick/. (Jasmine Green Rescues). Mar. 2021. 160p. $14.99. ISBN 9781536210286.
Gr 2-5–Peters provides insight into rearing animals both wild and domestic in this enjoyable series. In A Goat Called Willow, budding animal rescuers Jasmine and Tom buy a kid at an agricultural fair. Farmer Evans says the goat will be destroyed if no one takes her. The friends secretly clean out a chicken run in the corner of the sheep field on Jasmine’s family farm, but the mischievous kid escapes from the pen and turns up at the children’s school, eats the custodian’s flowers, and climbs a tree. The secret is out, and Jasmine’s parents say the goat has to go. Jasmine plans to win them over by secretly entering Willow in an agility class for pets at the town festival, and Manu, Jasmine’s little brother, trains the animal on a homemade obstacle course. But when Willow creates mayhem at the festival, Jasmine fears for the future of her little charge. In A Lamb Called Lucky, it’s lambing season on the farm, and when Jasmine finds an orphaned lamb, she knows just what to do. The baby needs colostrum, the first milk that contains vital antibodies. She calls the lamb Lucky, a name that proves apt in more ways than one. When a gang of sheep rustlers steal the family herd, Jasmine and her father attempt to track them down. Once again, Jasmine and Tom demonstrate their commitment to rescued animals, forgoing pizza lunches and swimming pool excursions to nurture Lucky. Readers will get a sense of the responsibilities of life on a farm; Jasmine’s many tasks include teaching Sky, a rescued collie, to herd sheep. Peters turns up the cute factor in these delightful romps, though adults may feel uneasy with Jasmine and Tom’s level of deception among clueless grown-ups: Other adult characters agree not to reveal their secrets to Jasmine’s parents. Readers may also find the agency afforded Jasmine far-fetched, and some of the challenges the youngsters face feel implausibly resolved: The children have to fill out complicated paperwork for example, and get the animal appropriate vaccinations. Snowdon’s charming pencil illustrations have a nostalgic, pastoral feel. Jasmine, her mother, and her brother are shown with darker skin tones than her father and Tom. Jasmine’s mother has the surname Singh and is presumed to be Anglo-Indian.
VERDICT A compelling series with a plucky, determined protagonist who follows her passion. Perfect for young animal lovers.

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