I think I'd have loved
this book when I was eight (well, if the book had existed when I was eight, which it didn't).
As it is, now that I'm 38, it's really a tad too simplistic, too straightforward, with everything just being too easy
for Daine - yes, in spite of all those struggles we got to see, there was never any hint of actual danger, or obstacles that couldn't be passed, and frankly I'm getting a little tired of how nearly every animal just jumps at a chance to be of assistance and do everything she wants (and the very, very few who don't are presented as rather unpleasant creatures).
On the other hand, it was still a fast, engaging read, even if 90% of the book seemed to be an endless cycle of "Daine talks with animals / Daine sees something through yet another animal's eyes / Daine and her animal friends go for another walk". And I'm a tree-hugger at heart, so the environmentalist message, much stronger in this book than the first, while eye-rolling in its unsubtlety (but then, as an eight-year-old, I might have appreciated that) was not disagreeable to me.