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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hello Goodbye Dog, written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Patrice Barton. Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2017. $23.99 ages 4 and up

"Goodbye was a closing door.
Moose pushed through the screen.
It was time to say "Hello!"
"Hello, Moose!" said Zara.
Hello smelled like chocolate chip

"Dogs aren't allowed to eat in the
cafeteria," said one of the lunch
ladies.  "She'll be quiet - I'll just read  to her ... "

Moose loves the 'hello' part of each day - when Zara comes home from school and they can be together again. He hates the 'goodbye' parts. Because of that, he often finds a way to break free and follow Zara to school. Zara knows just what to do when that happens. She takes Moose aside and quietly reads to him. It is all that he needs. But, dogs are not supposed to be in school.

"Goodbye, Moose," said Zara.
Moose put on her brakes.
It took Mom,
Mrs. Perkins,
and Ms. Chen
to get Moose to leave.

The kids love him and want him to be at school with them. Instead, Moose is seen as a constant disruption. Despite Zara's ability to calm him, he should never be there. Zara's solution to the problem is to enroll Moose in therapy dog classes. Will his presence be acceptable once his training is complete?

The colored pencil and watercolor art is perfect for this story of a dog's love. Patrice Barton adds gentle humor with expressive faces, constant canine motion, and familiar school scenes. Readers will love Moose's exuberance, as well as understand the dejection he feels every time he is returned home, without Zara.

The author adds a short note about therapy dogs and the benefits that are found in having children read to them.

" ... reading dogs provide a "pawsitive" association with reading, and especially with reading aloud, since child readers are neither judged on nor corrected for mispronunciation."


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