Tales from the Rainbow Bridge by A. Abbie Aardmore

Tales from the Rainbow Bridge by A. Abbie Aardmore
Publisher: R.M. Meluch
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (142 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Tales from the Rainbow Bridge is a story of heartbreaking loss and joyous reunions as told by Zack, a dog, the greeter at the Rainbow Bridge, as he waits for his own beloved companion to take him the rest of the way home. The endings are all happily ever after, but you must cry to get there.

There aren’t many things in this world that are eternal, but love is one of them.
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Zach’s backstory was achingly beautiful. He was the perfect narrator for this tale. I could feel his love for his human as well as his grief at being separated from her for so long. The bond between person and their dog can be an incredible thing to see. What made it even more interesting in this case is that everything the reader learns about their life together is shared through the mindset of a dog who doesn’t always understand human culture.

Ms. Aardmore clearly has a wonderful sense of humor. From what dogs really think of the word “no” to what happens when the atmosphere in the Rainbow Bridge rains shoes, there was a lot of funny stuff tucked between her heartwarming passages. It definitely wasn’t something I was expecting to find, but giggling through my tears made me love the whole thing even more.

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I started crying within a few pages. The stories in this book were incredibly touching, especially the ones featuring dogs whose earthly lives included any kind of mistreatment. There’s a soft spot in my heart for rescued animals, although of course I rooted for all of the dogs as they waited for their humans.

Figuring out the most appropriate age recommendation was tricky. There are some incredibly sad scenes in this tale, but the writing style in those sections seems like it was created with young elementary students in mind. Even incredibly difficult topics are approached in ways that I wouldn’t necessarily expect to find for an audience that was quite a bit older or younger than that. There’s a nice balance between telling the truth and avoiding too many details. This is something I would have loved when I was eight.

Tales from the Rainbow Bridge is a must-read for adults and kids alike.