Pet-Friendly Francie Scores a Pooch

January 18, 2016
Pet-Friendly Francie Scores a Pooch Book Cover Pet-Friendly Francie Scores a Pooch
Kat E. Erikson
Children's Literature
May 4th, 2015

Eight-year-old Francie Waggit wants a pet so badly it hurts. But like her dad says, caring for pets takes time and money, and the Waggit family can’t spare much of either - especially with Francie’s mom off in Africa rescuing baby elephants. No matter how much Francie plays pretend that her dad is a type of PET (Physical Education Teacher), he just can’t fill the shoes, or paws, of a real furry friend. So when a loveable stray named Scrimmy literally leaps into Francie’s life at a San Francisco 49ers football game right before Christmas, her father finally agrees to “tryout” a pet.

Francie’s wish came true! Almost. Turns out, her new rescue dog is loyal to a fault: be it high fences, locked doggy doors, or elementary school rules, Scrimmy will stop at nothing to stay by Francie’s side. Can Francie help her faithful foster pooch make the Waggit team for keeps? Or will she have to give up her Best Furry Friend forever?

Pet-Friendly Francie is ideal for children ready to advance beyond the chapter book reading level of the Magic Treehouse, but who are not yet ready for middle grade novels like Percy Jackson.

(via Goodreads)


I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


When I received my copy of Pet-Friendly Francie Scores a Pooch, I was not certain what to expect. I haven’t read a self-published book before, and I had heard lots of adequate-at-best things. However, one should know better than to let rumors speak the truth.

Our story follows avid pet-lover, Francie, her father, and the mutt who falls into their lives: Scrimmy. Scrimmy ran onto the field during a 49er’s game and causes quite a ruckus. Francie had been asking for a dog for years, and with the press hovering as Francie begged her father to free Scrimmy from Animal Control’s clutches, well, Dad had to give in. What follows is an eye-opening and educational story about the responsibilities of animal ownership, care, and the qualities a human must possess to truly be a successful caregiver.

What I loved most about this story was how Francie learned from so many different people in her life.scrimmy sings Her father teaches her about how to care for the animal by ensuring he eats the right food, gets plenty of exercise, and it taken out on the regular basis. Her teacher informs the class about how dogs are pack animals and how they communicate to each other, as well as to other dogs. Her best friend and friend’s older brother teaches her how technology and passion can help expand a small project into a city-wide one. The principal teaches everyone how kindness, humanity, and empathy are essential to success not just with animals, but with people.

Like laughter, kindness is contagious. – Francie Waggitt

The title of this book Pet-Friendly Francie Scores a Pooch was surprisingly clear in describing the book. There is a lot of emphasis on being pet-friendly throughout. Personally, I only thought that being “pet-friendly” meant a location where pets could be present. Now I realize there is so much more to that term. Francie and her father visited pet-friendly locations in their hometown of San Francisco. They also talked about setting up physical spaces which will be engaging and safe for animals. Plus, pet-friendly can also refer to the tools you use to support your animals. For example, Scrimmy tries to jump a fence at one point in the book. Unfortunately, his collar gets stuck on the fence, and he is hanging there. It’s a terrifying image to see in your mind — don’t worry, Scrimmy was safe in the end– but this leads to a talk about choke-safe collars for pets.

Scrimmy with 49ersThe one thing I didn’t connect well with were the sports references. Francie and her father are big sports proponents, after all, Mr. Waggitt is a physical education teacher! They meet Scrimmy at a 49ers game, they name him after the line of scrimmage– all sorts of sports things. However, I do love that Francie is a bit of a tomboy when it comes to this. So, while I couldn’t relate, I like the message.

Remember how rude remarks don’t belong anywhere? What is most important is to be kind and considerate person, and to try to help rather than hurt. – Mrs. Stiles

Thank you to Kat E. Erikson for proving to me that there can be quality self-published ebooks, and even teaching this pet owner veteran a new thing or two.

Overall, a surprising gem. I definitely recommend this story to anyone who is introducing the idea of pet ownership to their children. There are a ton of great lessons to be learned!

4 stars

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