Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pond

Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pond

Steve Voake
Illustrator:  Jessica Meserve 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Candlewick, 2009   ISBN: 978-0763640095

Daisy Dawson has always found it to be challenging to get to school on time. There are so many things to distract her as she walks to school every weekday morning. These days the situation is even worse because not long ago Daisy acquired the ability to understand and speak to animals. Now she feels compelled to talk to Meadowsweet the horse, and she has to take the time to give Boom the dog a sandwich. The animals are her friends, and she cannot imagine not talking to them as she walks by.

One day, after Daisy is late as usual, her teacher announces that they are going to start learning about habitats. Daisy is eager to use her new digital camera to take pictures of the habitat that she is going to study, which just happens to be the one inhabited by Meadowsweet and Cyril the squirrel. Trixie McDixie the cat suggests that Daisy might consider learning about a habitat that is less “ordinary.” She tells Daisy that a pair of otters are now living down the river a few miles away. What a coup it would be if Daisy could do her project about the otters and take pictures of them.

The very next day, Daisy, Boom, Cyril and Cyril’s young nephew and niece, Hazel and Conker, head off to find the otters. Daisy brings food, her camera, and all the other things she imagines she might need on an expedition. She is sure that she and her animal friends are going to have a grand adventure, but she never imagines that it might be dangerous. But it is.

Nature has lots of wonderful secrets that you can be privy too if you walk softly, and if you learn how to sit quietly and wait. Of course, Daisy Dawson has an advantage that we, alas, do not have. She can talk to animals. Through Daisy we get to meet some delightfully amusing, loving, and brave animals, and we learn that one of the most precious things in this world is true friendship.

Often deliciously funny, and beautifully written, this second Daisy Dawson title is a treat to be savored.