Juliet Nearly a Vet: The Big Flood
84pp., pbk., RRP $A9.99
Juliet and her best friend Chelsea love animals, and Juliet KNOWS she will be a vet. Problem is, she’s only ten years old so she has a bit of time before she can go to university and start the study. But she’s getting a head start by helping her mum in her veterinary practice, keeping her vet diary meticulously and making sure her emergency kit is always on hand. Chelsea is also an animal fanatic but her dream is to be a world famous trainer and groomer.
In this, the 11th in this series, Juliet and Chelsea are involved in rescuing a variety of creatures after rain has deluged the land and left it flooded. The first task is to get their neighbours’ alpacas to higher ground and while the cria goes willingly on the boat, its hembre (mother) is a little more hesitant. Once that task is complete, they head for home but Juliet is sure she spots movement on an island and wants to stop. However, her mother is anxious to get back to the surgery in case neighbours have brought in any emergencies and so Juliet is left frustrated.
She is determined to confirm what she saw and so with the help of Chelsea and her dad (who is afraid of animals, particularly mice) she sets off in Chelsea’s brother’s canoe to investigate. And sure enough, there is a whole menagerie there including mice, lizards, stick insects and an echidna who is struggling to breathe.
This is a series that is loved by young girls who love animals and who are independent readers. The combination of strong, independent girls who are “clever, almost grownups” and animals mixed with a touch of humour is unbeatable. It’s written by Rebecca Johnson who is the author of so many of those delightful junior non-fiction titles photographed and published by Steve Parish, and illustrated with cute pictures by Kyla May. Interspersed throughout are excerpts from Juliet’s vet diary which actually include some interesting facts such as those about the alpacas and which could be a model for the other Juliets in the offing. There’s also a quiz at the end of the book that enhances the learning.
All the books in the series are listed here. If your library doesn’t have them they are a worthwhile investment because they tick so many boxes for the Year 2-4 reader.