Review by Booklist Review
Ten-year-old Maggie is having a rough time. Her twin brothers are pests, her parents are focused on getting ready for the new baby, and she's had to switch schools. Worse, she's finally convinced her parents to let her get a dog, only to find out that she's extremely allergic to animals with hair or feathers. She tries fish, lizards, and even hermit crabs, but nothing scratches the itch of having a pet the way a dog would. When Maggie and her best friend sneak a pet mouse into her room, figuring a small furry animal can't be as bad as a big one, the fallout is more than she bargained for. Maggie's reactions to her situation are consistent with the way most tweens would feel, and her biracial family tracks as caring without coddling. The artwork is clear, with few backgrounds; the colors are vibrant with only a little bit of shading, and the outcome is unsurprising, like many graphic novels published for this age range, making this title easy to recommend.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This sincere graphic novel follows 10-year-old Maggie Wilson, who, hoping to adopt a puppy on a birthday visit to an animal shelter, instead learns that she's highly allergic to any animal with fur or feathers. The discovery compounds existing feelings of loneliness--her younger twin brothers have each other, her parents are preparing to welcome a new baby, and Maggie's starting at a new school thanks to redrawn boundary lines. New neighbor Claire, an only child with a permissive artist father, is a promising friend, and both appreciate the other's family until Claire gets a dog, and Maggie feels betrayed by both her body and her bestie. The girls resolve their differences through honest conversation, and Maggie begins to find her place in her family and her way to new passions. Debut illustrator Nutter's realistic art cues Maggie and her siblings as biracial against a suburban Sacramento, Calif., backdrop. In this warm and well-paced story, Lloyd (Paper Mice) shows with nuance how empathy and connection can help a person navigate circumstances outside their control, making this an encouraging tale for young readers engaging with the world of pets, family, and friendships. Ages 8--12. Author's agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator's agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 3--6--The oldest in her family, Maggie is often left attention-starved among her younger twin brothers and working parents, especially now that her mom is pregnant, but a puppy will change that. However, the much-anticipated trip to the animal shelter ends with Maggie itching, sneezing, and breaking out in hives--turns out she is allergic to anything with fur or feathers. A puppy is out of the question, and she must endure allergy shots. Maggie makes a best friend in new neighbor Claire but feels insecure and even jealous--Claire's father seems to let her do anything she wants, and when Claire adopts a puppy, Maggie is sent into a tailspin. Still, Maggie perseveres, realizing that no one's life is perfect, learning to live with allergies, and looking forward to her new sibling's arrival. Readers will root for this realistic and relatable fifth grader, who's capable of kindness well as envy and self-doubt. Lloyd folds in information about allergy tests, anaphylaxis, EpiPens, and other facts that Maggie and her friend Sebastian, who also has allergies, recite to each other. Layouts rely on three to four large panels per page, creating a smooth visual flow; Nutter's muted, uncluttered art has a cozy feel. Maggie and her family are brown-skinned, Claire is Asian, and Sebastian is white. VERDICT Maggie makes new pals here--she'll find even more friends in elementary and middle school libraries, where readers will easily identify with her trials and accomplishments.--Thomas Maluck, Richland Lib., SC
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A 10-year-old's world is upended by a diagnosis. Maggie Wilson believes her birthday will be the best one ever since her parents are letting her get a dog. Although technically it would be the entire family's dog, Maggie knows deep down that since her younger twin brothers are completely absorbed in one another's company and her parents are distracted by preparing for the new baby who is arriving in a couple of months, the dog will basically be hers. However, she's in for a sad surprise when she has a severe allergic reaction while cuddling a puppy at the shelter. After being tested, Maggie is diagnosed as being allergic to multiple species of animals. The doctor recommends that she stay away from anything with fur or feathers. Unwilling to give up her dream of owning a pet, Maggie begins a quest to find the perfect creature. Her allergies are only the start of the troubles Maggie encounters, as entering a new school and her changing family dynamics bring more challenges. Maggie's inventiveness as she overcomes these trials is showcased through Lloyd's captivating narrative and Nutter's bright and dynamic illustrations. The story provides insight into the lives of those with allergies and the accommodations needed to avoid serious episodes. The children's father reads as White; their mother is brown-skinned. A heartachingly enjoyable tale of resilience. (Graphic fiction. 8-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.