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BOOK REVIEW: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

BOOK REVIEW: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

Old Barn Books
September 2017
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Books

8.5/10

 

Madeline Finn DOES NOT like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice cream truck.

“Keep trying, Madeline Finn,” my teacher says.
But sometimes I can’t figure out the words.
Sometimes sentences get stuck in my mouth like peanut butter.
Sometimes people giggle when I make a mistake.

Fortunately, Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading out loud to Bonnie isn’t so bad. When Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn’t mind. Madeline Finn can pet her until she figures the word out.

At first, I’m nervous.
I get the letters mixed up.
The words don’t sound right.
But then I look at Bonnie, and she looks right into my eyes. She doesn’t giggle.
I feel better. I try again.
Halfway through, I get stuck on another word. Bonnie doesn’t mind. She puts her big paws in my lap and lets me stroke her until I figure it out.
After that, Bonnie and I read together every Saturday.

As it turns out, it’s fun to read when you’re not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it’s okay to go slow. And to keep trying. And to get support from a friend.

 

As a dog owner who reads picture books aloud to her fur-child in order to see how they sound when spoken, I have to say I love the practice of children or inexperienced readers reading to dogs to build up their confidence. 

The first-person narrator of this story means children can put themselves in the character’s shoes, and the sweet story is bound to warm any animal-lover’s heart.

The illustrations that accompany this story are also rather gorgeous, in a stylishly sparse way that stop them from being too busy and distracting for a inexperienced readers, while also carrying their own story to help readers along.

All in all this is a sweet story with a gorgeous message and warm, emotive, and appealing illustrations. 

Highly recommended for struggling readers (whether reading or being read to) and, of course, for households with dogs and a love of books.

BOOK REVIEW: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

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