Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan

Waiting for the Magic was a tender, read aloud hit in our house. My 4 and 5-year-old boys loved the talking pets that only some family members could hear. My 9-year-old envied the fact that the family adopted all four dogs and one cat available from the animal shelter. My husband and I enjoyed the loving resolution between a struggling husband and wife. The kids mostly missed the tension of the father moving out temporarily, but they caught the idea of pets bringing hope and healing to a family. Maybe this book struck a chord with us because we've recently experienced the magical healing and overcoming of disappointment that a new pet can bring.

Things aren't right in William's family. His father has left and his mother says his father is 'flawed.' Four-year-old Elinor doesn't understand what is wrong, but she is the first to realize the magic their five new pets bring. Four loveable dogs and one very patient cat help William, Elinor, and their parents recognize the magic and power of love. This is a sweet story for all ages and a good one to read as a family.

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