Monday, November 6, 2017

You Had Me at "Hello": Therapy Dogs and Reading

Who doesn't love a good dog story? And who doesn't love "hello" more than "goodbye"? That makes Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Patrice Barton, a winner! And I was a winner of this book, via an online entry.

Moose, Zara's beloved dog, loves "hello"--"Hello was a ride in the car...Hello was having a book and someone to read it to you...Hello smelled like homemade cookies...." So when Moose insists on running away from home to join Zara at school, you can imagine the chaos that caused. Barton's illustrations capture all the messy antics. Well, we all know that dogs don't belong at school--or do they? Moose was miserable and hated the word "goodbye," which Gianferrari defines as poetically as she defined "hello." Fortunately, Zara has an idea she can act upon, and before long, Moose becomes a therapy dog who comes to school and lets kids read to him. That made everyone happy, well summed up in Barton's final cozy illustration.

An author note tells more about therapy dogs as non-judgmental listeners. As Gianferri says, "It's the perfect combination: tales and tails!"

Thank you, Maria, for this wonderful story and the gift of this book!

Another recently published book about a therapy dog is Madeline Finn and the Library Dogwritten and illustrated by Lisa Papp. For Madeline Finn, reading is hard, and the teacher is always telling her to read. Reading out loud is even harder and embarrassing. Ugh. Madeline tries. She sets a goal to achieve a gold star, but that result is not forthcoming. And then--at a trip to the public library, Madeline is introduced to Bonnie, a big white dog. Madeline reads to her and with Bonnie's calm presence, Madeline gains confidence and reading fluency. Madeline gets her gold star at school and goes to the library to give it to Bonnie, who had been absent the week before. Papp ends the book with a lovely surprise and more opportunities for Madeline's reading. The soft, warm illustrations support the story and the tone of the book. I especially like that Madeline's reading progress was not an overnight success, but a process.

Finally, please click this link and meet Roxie, one of the friendly Tail Waggin Tutors therapy dogs that visits the library where I work and lets kids read to her. Watching kids interact with Roxie, whether they read to her or not, is always fun. They usually start out hesitant, especially if the child is much smaller than the dog. But when Roxie seems to like their attention, they are happy--and so is Roxie.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Jane!! Love seeing Hello Goodbye Dog here with Madeline Finn & Bonnie. And Roxie's a sweetheart <3!!