A Puppy Called Sparkle

Series: The Jasmine Green Series
Publication Date: 30 Nov. 2021
Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN 9781788009775

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    Jasmine falls in love at first sight with the little Golden Retriever puppy she rescues, but she knows she won’t be able to keep Sparkle forever. Jasmine soon sees that the playful, friendly puppy is quick and eager to learn, and has an incredible sense of smell. When a new girl starts at Jasmine’s school, bringing her medical assistance dog with her, Jasmine starts to wonder. Could Sparkle have a future saving people’s lives?

    Information

    Book Type: Early Readers
    Age Group: 7 years +
    Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
    Class Novel: No
    Good Reads Rating: 4/5
    Literary Rating: 4/5

    Review

    When Jasmine and her mum Nadia stop at a service station, they find something shocking—a sick little golden retriever puppy being sold by a puppy farmer! Jasmine and Nadia intervene, and they decide to take the poor puppy home with them to take care of until she’s well enough to be re-homed. Jasmine names the puppy Sparkle, and is delighted to able to look after her, even if it’s just for a little while.

    Jasmine starts training Sparkle right away, and before long she’s ready to go visit her best friend, Tom. Jasmine tells Tom that, even though she loves Sparkle and wishes she could keep her forever, the puppy will be better off going to a new home with owners who can spend plenty of time caring for and loving her.

    Once school starts back, Jasmine teaches her class everything she has learned about puppy farms, and her classmate Lilly in turn tells everyone about her medical alert dog, Shadow. This gives Jasmine a great idea: maybe Sparkle could become a service dog, and be trained to help people!

    Unfortunately, tragedy strikes before Sparkle is ready to leave—she is dognapped! 

    Jasmine is distraught, and terrified that her poor puppy will be sold off and never seen again. Jasmine, her parents, and Tom all work together, searching the village for Sparkle and reporting her as missing everywhere they can.

    Just when everyone has almost lost hope of ever finding Sparkle, she escapes! Following a scent trail for miles and miles, Sparkle makes her way all the way back to Jasmine, who is ecstatic to have found her special little puppy again. 

    After everything settles back into place, Sparkle is officially enrolled to train as a service dog in the new year, and Jasmine and sparkle happily enjoy their last few weeks together, content in the knowledge that the golden retriever will be able to have a full and happy life.

    This heartwarming tale perfectly captures the impact one sweet little puppy can have. The realistic presentation of puppy farming and other acts of animal cruelty that permeate the animal breeding world is integrated well into this sweet narrative, and it is very satisfying to see everything work out well for Jasmine and Sparkle. The overall ideas of pet responsibility and general animal awareness are valuable themes.

    Themes

    dogs, animal cruelty, pets, animals, disability, dog training

    Content Notes

    This book contains several references to animal cruelty, puppy farming, and animal theft, notably Sparkle’s condition when Jasmine first meets her (p. 3-19) and Jasmine’s presentation about puppy farming, but these issues are represented appropriately for the target age group (p. 59-67).