The Guardian Team
written by Cat Urbigkit
2012 (Boyds Mills Press)
Source: Orange County Public Library
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I grew up in an era where buddy movies were popular. Two people who seemed to be ill matched but somehow worked together by the end of the movie. The Guardian Team is the K-2 nonfiction book equivalent of those movies. Would you put a burro and a dog together as a security firm? Rena was the runt of a litter of 7 puppies. She was brought to a Wyoming ranch because she constantly fought with her brothers and sisters. Roo was an orphan burro found in the desert of Nevada. Together, they learn how to become protectors of sheep. Both animals connected quickly with the sheep, but it took a little longer for the two to form a bond. Both wanted to take the lead in guarding the sheep so there was conflict. Eventually they became friends and joined forces to keep a pesky ram away from the flock. Once the lambs were big enough to join the big herd, Roo stayed with them as guardian while Rena led another flock of fresh newborns.
The Guardian Team would be a good text to share if you were teaching a lesson on friendship or team building. I would compare how the relationship of the two animals develops to how it takes a little time for a new class of students to build trust and become friends with one another. Young readers will enjoy this warm tale of two very different animals learning how to work toward the same goal.