Over the last couple of weeks I have been able to read to my granddaughter (I am homeschooling her) and occasionally her brother. We have enjoyed a variety of books, many with or about animals. I have included their comments or reactions where possible. All of these books were provided by the publisher upon request. The rating and opinions shared are our own.
Tank’s Forever Home (Doggie Daycare Set #2) by Carol Kim, Courtney Godbey (Illustrator)
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tank’s Forever Home is part of the Doggie Daycare series. I enjoy reading these books to my grandchildren and this one especially as they have a mastiff mix that they rescued. Tank was found in a shopping plaza behind a refuse bin. He appeared abandoned, but when Kat and Shawn contacted the Doggie Daycare/Rescue, it was apparent that he had been well taken care of. Their family fostered Tank while they waited to see if he was to be claimed or find his forever home. Kat and Shawn are great kids, not only helping out with the rescue, but visiting their neighbour who lives alone. It ends up that she is feeling lonely after the death of her dog, and she becomes attached to Tank. All’s well that ends well, but you will have to read the book to find out what that is.
This is a great early chapter book for late primary/early junior children. I love that this book centres on dog rescue and not purchasing a new dog. Tank is adorable and the illustrations highlight that fact. The picture cues will also help early readers with the story. A great story for classrooms when they are learning about pets and care of animals. The back of the book also includes some questions for discussion, always helpful to develop comprehension. My grandchildren enjoyed this book and loved that Tank has a happy ending. I recommend this book and series to dog lovers, primary classrooms and public libraries.
Gary the Seagull by Christian Johnston, Paul Hammond (Illustrator)
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Anyone who has spent time near water has probably had an experience with seagulls. I know we have, including a poop incident when in Myrtle Beach. This is a story about a mischievous seagull named Gary. He is hungry and there are just too many smells and offerings on the beach to eat garbage. This is just a fun, relatable book for kids. Gary’s antics were hilarious. He was a rather cunning seagull and figured out where his best chances to get food would be. The funny illustrations really bring the story to life. It is a fun and lighthearted read and the ending was great. My grandkids laughed most of the way through and I was asked to read it again. This is one that I will keep on my bookshelf to read again, especially if and when we head to a beach or seaside.
Candace’s Playful Puppy by Candace Cameron Bure, Christine Battuz (Illustrator)
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was a cute story about the trials and tribulations of getting a puppy and then training it. Candace and her mom went to the shelter to adopt a dog. Candace wants a cute puppy instead and names him Freckles. Her mother agrees, but lets Candace know that she will need to train her new pup. Candace gets a book from the shelter and reads it carefully to begin her training sessions. All does not go well and Candace realizes that it is not going to be easy or quick to train Freckles. This is a story about patience, perseverance, love and consistency. This is a great book to read before a family gets a new furrever friend. It is especially important when deciding on a puppy to know what you are in for and what it will take to train him or her. The illustrations were cute and added to the story. My granddaughter enjoyed this story, but listened intently rather than reacting to it. We talked about dogs and puppies after reading this one and she liked her big dog that already knew what to do when he came to live with them. She said her daddy would be able to train a puppy. A cute book for those interested in getting a puppy or dog.
Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog by Lisa Papp (Author and Illustrator)
This is the third Madeline Finn book we have read and we love them all. Madeline’s dog Star is old enough to train as a therapy dog. They have to pass some tests to be certified so off they go to the local retirement home to see if Star is able to become certified. This is a great book for children to learn about many things. First thing is about therapy dogs. There are so many different therapy dog now, that this is a great thing to find out about. In this case it is a dog to visit in old age, retirement and care homes. Star is great at this, especially being so large and fluffy. The second thing is about care and friendship with older people. Madeline notices a man who is not happy and instead of moving on and ignoring him, she tries to cheer him up and find out what is wrong and how she can help. Of course, Star does what she is supposed to do, but this is a great learning point. We love the amazing illustrations that accompany this story. They add a lot to the understanding of what is going on. I definitely recommend this book to schools, classrooms, public libraries and families. My grandson was quite interested in the retirement home and why the people were there. We talked about how they couldn’t live alone anymore or have a pet, but that visiting therapy animals make them so happy. He decided that he would take care of me if I couldn’t live by myself anymore. The innocence of youth.