Abigail Iris: The Pet Project

Image of Abigail Iris: The Pet Project
Release Date: 
April 11, 2011
Walker Books for Young Readers
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Eight-year-old Abigail Iris calls her three best friends, Cynthia, Rebecca and Genevieve, “The Onlies” because they have no siblings. Since they are onlies, they even get to celebrate their half birthdays. Even though Abigail Iris has an older sister and two stepbrothers, she thinks she should get that privilege, too.

She and her mom go to the Farmers’ Market every Sunday for fresh produce. Abigail Iris, knowing her half birthday is coming up soon, tells her mom she wants a kitten for her present. She spots a kitten at the cat rescue area and falls in love, even naming him Spot on the way home—even though the animal is not hers nor in her possession. Abigail Iris begs her mom for the kitten. Her mom does not say no, which gets Abigail Iris’s hopes up, but she knows her mom needs to discuss getting a pet with her father first.

A few days later, Abigail Iris goes to the store with her stepbrother, Eddie, to buy their dad a book for his birthday, which is just before Abigail Iris’s half birthday. She moans to Eddie about how much she wants the kitten. He slips and says her parents decided to get it for her, but she must act surprised.

Meanwhile, as Abigail Iris’s happiness explodes, Eddie tells her that his elderly dog, Bruno, does not have long to live. Hearing this, Abigail Iris dissolves in tears.

The day of Abigail Iris’s half birthday, her mom is late picking her up from school. When they arrive home, she notices her dad’s car in the driveway. Abigail Iris rushes inside and finds her dad sitting in his favorite chair with Spot sleeping on his lap.

Spot proves to be an exceptional cat. He loves to play and do tricks like a dog. They all fall in love with him, but when Abigail Iris’s sister Victoria cannot seem to get over a cold, they learn she is allergic to Spot. Abigail Iris’s heart breaks, knowing they need to find a new home for her beloved pet, but how can she give away the kitty she loves? Can’t they find a new home for her sister instead?

This delightful story teaches about the joys and heartache of pet ownership, as well as the cementing of familial bonds through difficult times. The whimsical black-and-white illustrations add just the right touch of flavor, making this book one young, elementary-school age girls will adore.