Trillium Sisters: Trouble at the Paw Park

Pixel+Ink. (Trillium Sisters: Bk. 4). Dec. 2022. 128p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781645950660.
Gr 2-4–Three sisters—Giselle, Clare, and Emmy—use the petal charms from their veterinarian father, their magical pets, and their ability to work together to save the day. Emmy and her father (Dr. J.A.) have just finished Paw Park, a fabulous underground pet park that is connected to Dr. J.A.’s clinic. However, on opening day, Dr. J.A. is called away, leaving Emmy and her sisters in charge. The girls soon discover a series of worrying occurrences: disappearing light bulbs and trash can lids, scattered trash, and a mysteriously ringing doorbell. They investigate and find themselves in an abandoned treehouse deep in the forest, following a raccoon that has taken the key to Paw Park along with the lightbulbs. When the treehouse collapses, their charms are activated and the sisters and their magical pets become powerful problem-solvers. All ends well, but Emmy is reminded by her father that while helping others is wise, taking risks is not. Although containing important messages of taking responsibility and learning from mistakes, the plot is predictable, and the personalities of the sisters are largely indistinguishable. Other than saying that Clare is an observer and Giselle likes to move, we learn little about what makes each girl unique. The black-and-white illustrations show the sisters as beautiful and big-eyed (and looking older than eight), while the animals are cute and observant. Readers who are just transitioning to longer chapter books will appreciate the numerous illustrations and generous spacing between the lines of text.
VERDICT Although formulaic, the story should appeal to elementary-aged readers seeking tales of sisterhood, animals, and magical mysteries.

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