One Playful Pup
By Joan L. Nodset
HarperCollins, $3.99, 32 pages
Children who grow up with a dog in the family know just how much fun it can be having a constant companion around. But if you aren’t used to being around animals, it can be scary meeting a strange dog. In Joan L. Nodset’s book Go Away, Dog, a young boy is playing by himself when a shaggy black-and-white dog approaches him. “Go away from me. I don’t like you, dog. I don’t like dogs at all. Big dogs, little dogs. Any dogs at all,” he says. Despite what the boy says, the pup brings him a stick to play catch with, rolls over and even raises his paw to shake hands! The boy ends up with a happy, tail-wagging pup on his lap. What will happen when the boy discovers his new pal doesn’t have a home? Can he overcome his dislike of dogs?
Paul Meisel’s illustrations perfectly capture the various emotions experienced by the boy and the canine. He uses bold, bright colors and just enough detail to keep young readers entertained but not too distracted as they focus on learning new vocabulary words. Rated as a “My First Shared Reading” book in the I Can Read Books series, Go Away, Dog features basic language, word repetition and whimsical pictures, perfect for an emerging reader.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin