Congratulations to Cathy Mere of Reflect and Refine Building a Learning Community and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning on celebrating 10 years of #pb10for10, a fabulous event for sharing the power of picture books! To view all #pb10for10 lists, please click here.
2019 marks my third year participating in #pb10for10. In fact, this very event launched my blog, Beagles and Books. Here are my previous lists. Can you notice a trend?
For the past two years, Beagles and Books features one dog book weekly with Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Pick. Continuing the tradition of sharing paw-tastic picture books, each of the books chosen for this year #pb10for10 met the following criteria:
- Features a canine main character
- Published in 2019
- Teaches a positive message to students
Presenting Paw-tastic Picture Books with a Paw-sitive Message
Duchess and Guy by Nancy Furstinger Illustrated by Julia Bereciartu (January 2019)
Although I know Guy has a happy ending, my heart still hurt when I read Furstinger’s poignant first words and Julia Bereciartu’s gorgeous yet forlourn illustration of Guy in the shelter. When I turned the page, my heart leaped for joy when Guy was adopted by Meghan and finally got his furever home. The story focus shifts to Meghan’s impending marriage to Prince Harry and how Guy wants to prove he is a regal beagle. Being among royalty is a bit overwhelming for Guy and despite his best intentions, his transition isn’t as smooth as he envisioned. Meghan reminds Guy to be the happy go lucky dog he is. Whether you are two legged or four legged, adjustment to a new situation or surrounding can be challenging; I love that Furstinger emphasizes the way to capture hearts (even the Queen of England’s) is to simply just be yourself. At the end of the book, Furstinger includes a factual account of Guy’s rags to riches story.
Good Boy by Sergio Ruzzier (February 2019)
Written using only verbs, Good Boy tells the story of a boy and his dog. At first, the boy gives his pup simple commands such as sit, stay, and roll over. The boy’s commands become more unconventional asking his furry best friend to stand, juggle, cook, pedal, sail and build, which the dog has no difficulties fulfilling. After collaborating to build a spaceship, the duo blast off to another planet to interact with aliens. Once they get home and get ready for bed, the boy repeats his command of stay which ends with the best friends snuggling in bed for the night. I am a huge fan of Sergio Ruzzier, for his words and artwork exudes warmth and whimsy. What I love most about Good Boy is with its concise text and charming pen and watercolor illustrations, Ruzzier beautifully captures the genuine love between a boy and his dog.
Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog by Lisa Papp (March 2019)
For fans of Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, Lisa Papp’s follow up will be a warm hug. Madeline convinces her mom to allow her to adopt one of Bonnie’s puppies and names him Star. Wondering how Mrs. Dimple chose Bonnie, Madeline discovers that Bonnie came from a shelter. Mrs. Dimple invites Madeline to join her at the shelter when she donates supplies. While Madeline can see the animals have their basic needs met, she is still worried. “Does any tell the shelter dogs they love them?” Taking action, Madeline collects towels for the shelter and organizes a read aloud for the dogs. Lisa Papp’s text and warm illustrations beautifully convey Madeline’s genuine concern for the shelter dogs especially a black and white dog named Mr. Chips. Madeline is a great role model for children demonstrating small gestures can make a big impact!
Let’s Have Dog Party by Mikela Prevost (March 2019)
Fred’s human Kate wants to celebrate his birthday in a big way! Fred is a low key pup and prefers to spend his special day napping in his favorite spot. When Kate and her friends begin singing loudly, Frank is overwhelmed and hides in a closet. One look at Frank and Kate realizes that her well intentioned party is not Frank’s cup of tea. Kate makes it up to him by sending her friends home and celebrating with Frank on his terms, which makes my heart so happy. Let’s Have a Dog Party is a touching story teaching us all how to be empathetic and consider other’s feelings.
Wake Up, Color Pup by Taia Morley (March 2019)
A small yellow bird brings color into Pup’s world as they take an adventure outside. Concisely written with vivid verbs, the once white pup gradually becomes vibrant with all the colors of the rainbow. The observant reader sees a storm brewing in the distance which washes away all of Pup’s beautiful colors. Once the storm ends and the sun peeks out, Pup is determined to regain his colorful self. What I love most about this gorgeously drawn book is with a hearty shake, Pup’s color spreads to his surroundings awaking the world around him. Wake Up Color Pup is a picture book with great depth, for while it can be read to very young children to introduce and reinforce colors, themes of overcoming fears and how a bright outlook can positively affect the world can be also discussed.
Olive and Pekoe in Four Short Walks by Jacky Davis and Giselle Potter (March 2019)
Written in walks rather than chapters, Olive and Pekoe tells the story of two canine friends. Olive is small, old, and more reserved. Pekoe is big, young, and full of energy. As they take their walk, readers see the contrast between calm Olive and the lively Pekoe. Pekoe is full paws on enthralled by sticks, chipmunks, and other dogs; Olive would rather watch than be a participant. The last vignette is particularly touching, for at the dog park, Pekoe is scared by a bigger dog. Olive though is quick to act and joins Pekoe for support. Olive and Pekoe in Four Short Walks is a sweet story that reminds us friendship isn’t about being the same; it is about being there for each other.
I Am a Wolf by Kelly Leigh Miller (May 2019)
Written in first person, a small, round dog with fangs proudly states “I AM A WOLF.” Through the bold, expressive illustrations and concise text, readers discover that the dog is a stray and is taken to a local shelter. During an adoption event at the shelter, the dog declares “I’M FINE ON MY OWN.” displaying unappealing behavior to potential adopters. One little girl sees past the dog’s antics and gives the dog a big hug. This small kind gesture completely changes the dog’s demeanor, for it is clear, all the dog wants is to be loved. Now named Wolf, this once homeless dog finally has found his pack. With humor and heart, I Am a Wolf teaches that we all have walls due to our past and how love and understanding can help us heal and trust.
The Peculiar Pig by Joy Steuerwald (June 2019)
It is pretty clear that Penny, one of Mama Pig’s babies is not a piglet, but in fact, a dachshund puppy. While Mama Pig loves all her babies equally and consistently reassures Penny her differences don’t matter, her siblings think Penny is peculiar. She does not look like them, has a weird oink, and prefers using her paws to dig than her snout. But when a snake threatens the litter, Penny’s peculiar growl scares the creature away. The piglets realizes that being peculiar is pretty positive trait! The Peculiar Pig is a charming story that celebrates differences. Steuerwald’s illustrations are absolutely adorable and will captivate young readers.
Mighty Reader and the Big Freeze by Will Hillenbrand (July 2019)
Hugo, a beagle, boards the bus on his first day of school. He quickly makes friends with Barkley, a bull dog who is reading The Adventures of Mighty Reader. Once in school, the class is excited about their author visit later that day. Their teacher, Ms. Wulff asks Barkley to read aloud a book written by the author, but Barkley freezes up forgetting all his reading strategies. Luckily, Hugo knows how to solve this reading emergency. Raiding the class’ dress up center, Hugo finds a superhero costume, grabs Barkley’s favorite book from his cubby reminding Barkley that he is a reader and how he can use his strategies to read new books. With encouragement from Hugo, Barkley regains his confidence remembering familiar words and using the pictures to tell what is happening. What I love about Mighty Reader and the Big Freeze is it teaches kids that they can help each other through prompting which is what Hugo did for Barkley.
And a New Picture Book Releasing September 2019!
Stormy: A Story about Finding a Forever Home by Guojing
Stormy is a gorgeously illustrated wordless picture book about a stray dog who seeks shelter under a park bench. When a young woman sits on the bench, the dog runs away but stays nearby within the view of the woman. Befriending the dog with a ball, the woman shows extreme patience waiting for the dog to make the first move. Gradually, the dog begins to show a little trust fetching and dropping the ball but is still too frightened to get close. When the woman leaves, the dog follows her home with the ball in its mouth. A fierce storm erupts and the dog finds shelter in a box while the woman returns to the park frantically searching for the pup. While heartbreaking to see both apart, readers are rewarded with a heartwarming reunion that brought me to tears. Guojing’s use of muted colors in each stunning panel deftly conveys the changing mood of the story. A story about patience, trust, and love, Stormy is a book that proves pictures are indeed worth a thousand words.
Thank you for visiting Beagles and Books’ #pb10for10! Do you have a favorite dog picture book? Please feel free to share in the comments below.