CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 12 . . . .February 8, 2008
Raffi's Animal Rescue is the story of young Raffi McCaffrey, who seems to be about 10-years-old. He suffers from sickle-cell anemia, a disease which causes him a lot of pain in his hips and so makes movement difficult. In Sylvain Meunier's short novel, translated from the French by Sarah Cummins, Raffi is home from school because of his pain and is looking out the window with his binoculars, bird watching. When Raffi sees an injured purple martin on the ground, his instinct tells him to go outside to save this bird by picking it up and bringing it inside before it is attacked by a neighbourhood cat. But Raffi is in too much pain to move. His father is at work. His mother, who works out of home, is out on an errand, and Raffi is in the care of his older sister who is at school and will not be home until lunchtime.
Meunier poses an interesting question for her young readers. How can a boy who cannot move, help a bird who cannot move? When Raffi's sister comes home for lunch and shows no interest in helping the bird, Raffi takes it upon himself to save this bird. He soon finds himself falling down the stairs and lying on the floor, as helpless as the bird he was going to save. Circumstances, including a change of heart from his sister, lead to a happy ending both for Raffi and the injured bird.
Robert Groberman is a grade one and grade two teacher at Kirkbride Elementary School, Surrey, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.