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Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen for Readers' Favorite
Staying Strong for Smokey by Corey Gut, DVM is a heartwarming book about a young girl and her cat, Smokey. Smokey and the girl grew up together. They would play together and take naps together and lie in the morning sun. The two are best friends. But as the cat grows older, Smokey wants to play less and sleep more. He doesn't eat as much, and hides under beds. Smokey is in a lot of pain, but there's no medicine that can help him. They have to say goodbye to Smokey. But what will the girl do without her best friend?
I loved Staying Strong for Smokey. The book is relatable, because many people have had to say goodbye to a beloved pet, just like the girl. The book is beautifully written and rhymes. The rhyming is very well done and really adds to the story. The story was amazing and heartwarming and had me in tears. The illustrations by Kim Stahl are really cute and well done and depict the scenes very well. I liked how the illustrations of Smokey changed as the book progressed, which really helped show the story. I liked how at the end of the book it gave suggestions to help someone cope with the loss of a pet. The characters were very likeable. I would recommend Staying Strong for Smokey to everyone, especially those readers who have recently had to say goodbye to a beloved pet.