William’s father has left again to ‘do some writing.’ He’s done this before, but this time feels different. This time he left a note for William and his little sister Elinor, which makes it feel more planned, more long-term. His mother seems to think so, too. The first thing she does is announce they are going to the animal shelter to choose a dog. William’s father has always said they couldn’t have a dog.
What’s even more surprising is that when they get to the shelter, they end up with not one dog, but four dogs and a cat! William knows his mother is trying to fill the empty space his father left, and for a while, it works. The family is certainly busy with the new crew, and they provide a good distraction. The reader is in on a secret from the start – the animals can talk. But only those young enough (Elinor), old enough (his grandma), and brave enough (who will that be?) can hear the animals talking.
William’s family isn’t through with changes, though, and readers will root for them with every surprise. Despite the potentially heavy topic of his father walking out, this is a light-hearted book with a very happy ending.
reviewed by Jessica