Matthew lives in an orphanage. He really wants a dog, but that hasn't worked out. Neither have any of the other pets that he has tried to adopt: a turtle from a friend and some snails he found outside. Then one day, two people come to the orphanage and ask if he wants to live with them. When Matthew arrives at his new home, Ron, a German shepherd is there to greet him!
I like the story idea and that Matthew is telling the story. His desperation for a pet made me hope there was a happy ending every time I turned the page until I got to the part where Matthew sought out lice to get revenge on Miss Lavender. Maybe that is a way that kids think, but its not an idea I want to introduce to my child. I also didn't like the super-abrupt shift to the "happily ever after" when, in the next scene, Matthew goes to his forever home.
Matthew's feelings about wanting a dog will tug on young readers' heartstrings.
In one scene, Miss Lavender says she is going to sell the snails to a French restaurant. You may need to explain what that means. For some children, that idea may seem mean or cruel.
This is a picture book that also serves as an easy reader.
For kids coming from foster care into an adoptive family, this story could open some conversations. There are plenty of other, stronger stories out there.
7 and Up
3 to 8
Skip. There are better adoption stories out there, both for wanting and adopting a pet or becoming an adoptive family.