Review: Juliet nearly a Vet by Rebecca Johnson

Juliet nearly a Vet is a fun new book series for young readers.  Written by Australian author Rebecca Johnson, who has previously written best-selling non-fiction for kids with Steve Parish, these books speak to young people’s curiosity about the animal world and that natural tendency to daydream about future career possibilities.   The series is pitched at the 8-10 year old girls market, but my girls (at 6 and 4) already love the storylines – and Miss 6 can read a lot of it with my help on the ‘big words’.

Juliet is a clever 10 year old with big dreams of following in her Mum’s footsteps and becoming a vet.  Her Mum already lets her help out with the menagerie of creatures that come through the family surgery; she loves nothing better than observing surgery or discovering the nitty gritty about bodily processes!  Juliet keeps comprehensive notes in her Vet Diary and maintains a vet kit (in her Dad’s old fishing tackle box) which comes in handy for minor ‘emergencies’ amongst neighbourhood animals.  Her best friend and next-door-neighbour, Chelsea, comes along for the ride as Juliet hatches plans to get her closer to her career goals.  In The Great Pet Plan, Juliet invites her whole class to drop their pets off at her house for a night of medical checkups and grooming!  In At The Show, it’s horse training under the microscope as Juliet and Chelsea help a friend get a pony ready for the local show.  Each story is humorous and educational, with the girls learning lessons about animal care as well as behaviour and social relationships.

The books are written in straight-forward language with occasional illustrations (by Kyla May) to help us picture the girls and their animal friends.  The illustrations also give us snap shots of Juliet’s note book which break up the text a little and offer additional reading challenges.   Each book concludes with a light hearted quiz – simultaneously offering education about the animal world and testing comprehension of the story.

The first two books are available now (as print or eBooks) and two more are scheduled for release this year.   My Miss 6 found these books really inspiring.  On a recent trip to the Queensland Museum’s dinosaur exhibition she insisted on creating a Dinosaur Diary and took notes throughout.   I’m not sure there’s much of a future for dinosaur vets, but her attention to detail was admirable!

The Juliet nearly a Vet series is published by Penguin and I thank them kindly for my review copies.  

This review will be added to the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013

5 comments for “Review: Juliet nearly a Vet by Rebecca Johnson

  1. Amanda
    April 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Hi, a year down the track and we have started reading At The Show. Love it! We just got Frizzle and Silkie chickens yesterday and they featured tonight in the story. Was marvellous timing. The notebook entries are a great addition and perfect for this age group. We will definitely seek out the rest of the series. Thanks for the great review 🙂

    • This Charming Mum
      April 8, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Oh that’s good. We are babysitting some guinea pigs for the school holidays and Miss 7 has started a chart to mark out all their habits and food preferences – also inspired by Juliet.

  2. January 18, 2014 at 4:38 am

    awww, creating a dinosaur diary is adorable.

    I’ve read one of the books (The Great Pet Plan) and overall give it the thumbs up. Love the vet Mum and the determined and curious Juliet.

  3. Rebecca Johnson
    April 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for this gorgeous review. I am so glad your little girls are loving them. I wrote the first when my daughter was a little girl who loved pets!

    • This Charming Mum
      April 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Rebecca! We just finished reading ‘At the Show’ last night and my girls are besotted. What little girl doesn’t love a horse eh? Tonight as we prepare for bed my two girls are answering only to ‘Juliet’ and ‘Chelsea’. They have all their My Little Ponys out and are grooming them from Juliet’s vet box (lunch box…). Honestly! So, we thank you for your lovely stories and we’re looking forward to the rest of the series.

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