It’s time for Cooper’s regular check-up at the vet. But this golden retriever isn’t happy about it! Will his owners manage to get him there?
Donna Santini’s COOPER GOES TO THE VET is a picture book for early to intermediate readers and/or their parents and caregivers about a cheerful yet cowardly golden retriever named Cooper. His regular check-up at the vet is due, but Cooper doesn’t want to go. However, with enough patience and some dog treats, his visit goes well. Soon enough, Cooper is back at home, so happy he causes a ruckus. Plus, there are fart jokes, and what red-blooded kid doesn’t enjoy those?
The text accompanying the illustrations in COOPER GOES TO THE VET are written in verse. Unfortunately, while the illustrations are great, the verse isn’t all that good. While the rhymes are passable, the meter is irregular, frequently changing within the same stanza. This breaks the flow of the story and the beat of verses, which becomes noticeable once the book is read aloud. Then there’s the subject matter. Some children might be too young to understand the message of COOPER GOES TO THE VET. Perhaps, if the same story was in prose, this would make clearer why pets are so afraid of veterinarians. This could then help convey the importance of treating scared animals with patience.
On the positive side, the illustrations are charming. They are simple yet vivid and get their point across clearly even when the text fails to do so. Cooper is depicted as a cartoon character, which is great because it shows how he’s feeling at any given moment. There’s also a special treat for the young readers at the end–a photo of the real-life Cooper.
Vivid and charming illustrations strengthen the storytelling part of COOPER GOES TO THE VET, making it clear that author and dog-lover Donna Santini has her heart in the right place.
~Danijel Štriga for IndieReader