Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog
Author: Lisa Papp
Illustrator: Merissa Czyz
Peachtree Publishing Company
Lisa Papp’s illustrations are gentle and wistful somehow, recalling the Holly Hobbie watercolors of my youth, and her prose is sweet and spare.
It’s possible that the editor of this blog has discovered I am a sucker for a children’s book that features an elderly character, because here I am crying over another sweet, gentle, needful book. You’re likely to tear up too, but it’s a sweet read that will be worth the Kleenex. [Editor’s Note: Know your audience.]
Madeline Finn is a young girl with a big white dog named Star. Is he a lab? Is he a Great Pyrenees? Does it matter? No. He is adorable, and so is she. Madeline is training Star to be a therapy dog. They practice meeting people, sitting still, and meeting other dogs. Then it’s time for Star’s first of three tests at the retirement home. He passes with flying colors.
On their next visit, Madeline notices a man sitting alone in a corner.
“Star did well on his second test,”
“But he didn’t make Mr. Humphrey smile,” I say.
“Some people need time,” Mom says.
“Remember how patient Bonnie was with you when you were learning to read?”
I think about that all the way home.
Their third and final trip to the retirement home is Madeline and Star’s biggest test. They face hurdles like an overheated elevator and cookies on the floor, but sail over them all. They still can’t make Mr. Humphrey smile though…until Madeline realizes the power of patience, a pet, and a good book.
Lisa Papp’s illustrations are gentle and wistful somehow, recalling the Holly Hobbie watercolors of my youth, and her prose is sweet and spare. This is a lovely book that teaches by showing, not by telling, and will surely appeal to anyone who loves dogs, or grandparents, or reading.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
My thanks to Peachtree Publishing for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
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