McTavish the kind, wise & frequently hilarious rescue dog is back in this fourth instalment of life with the Peachey family. In this latest book the family are moving house and the youngest member, Betty, is moving school too. In all the turmoil it is McTavish who notices that Betty needs help and he resolves to do all he can to support his friend, in his own slightly unusual manner.
Pa Peachey arrives home from work one day singing a happy little song. Instantly the children know that something is wrong. Their dad is usually cranky and cross and he is definitely not the type of person who smiles happily and is full of the joys of spring at the end of a long working day. It is not long before the family learn the reason for this dramatic change in personality. Pa Peachey has a new job and is very excited about it. When the children learn that this means a new house too they are not quite as happy as Pa. Betty, who will also have to move to a new school, is convinced that this is a big problem not a trivial one and her nervousness mounts as the day draws near.
Meg Rosoff’s writing captures the family’s relationships beautifully and the conversations and situations are conveyed with a kind wisdom and bags of humour. Just like the earlier stories in the series this book is very amusing and McTavish’s weary tolerance is entertaining. The plot and the manner in which the family adapt to their move will be reassuring to young readers who may be facing this experience themselves. McTavish’s cunning plan to help Betty may not be the sort of plan that a wise adult would suggest but McTavish has a knack for rescuing his family in his own eccentric but successful way and young readers should enjoy the climax of the story.
McTavish on the Move is part of the Conkers range published by Barrington Stoke designed to help reluctant and newly confident readers make the jump to reading longer texts for pleasure, with dyslexia friendly Barrington Stoke font, paper with a gentle tint and loads of illustration. This means that this book is accessible to a wider range of readers. The charming cover and the illustrations throughout the book are by David Shephard based on and in the style of Grace Easton and these add to the enjoyment. At the end of the story there are two pages of “Betty’s Top Tips for Making Friends”, a lovely, thoughtful touch which will be helpful for children, especially if they don’t have a McTavish of their own to sort things out for them!
I should like to thank Kirstin Lamb and Barrington Stoke publishers for providing my free review copy. McTavish on the Move is available at all good bookshops or online
if you have not already read them I can wholeheartedly recommend the earlier stories in the McTavish series.