December 2013, ebook, Review copy
On a dare from her best friend, nine-year-old Tawny gags down a piece of dog kibble. Suddenly she can hear and talk to dogs, including her own dog, an enormous and demanding Great Dane named Dinky. Dinky explains to Tawny that his fondest wish is to be a tiny lap dog and Tawny promises to help him become one. From helicopters to the five o’clock news, Tawny soon finds out what it means to make a promise to a friend. Along the way, her parents can’t help but question her sanity and her best friend Jenny turns into her worst enemy. If Tawny can just keep her own thoughts straight, maybe she can make things right in her family, get her best friend back, and decide for herself how she will handle having such a special gift.
Both human and animal characters are hilarious with distinct personalities. Each dog has unexpected problems which Tawney tries to solve, although mostly it's her own dog who she pulls all the stops out for. I loved how her new connections helped her understand her parents' dreams, it goes to show that being direct ought to be more commonplace so there aren't misunderstandings. Tawney's falling out with her best friend is something I'm sure lots of readers can relate to-I did, although I wished her friend was more open minded but that is something which comes with experience and later on in the novel. A highlight of this book was discovering book 2 is out soon!
Another girl who can understand cats instead of dogs and has cat powers is Maddy in the Pocket Cats series, including Dancing Dreams by Kitty Wells (Children's, 5 years +, 10E/10E)