A Wish for a Dog ... The Beginning of a Family

Summary:

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! 


Parent Perspective:
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.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Matthew's feelings about wanting a dog will tug on young readers' heartstrings.

Content Awareness Factors:

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.


Type of Book:
This is a picture book that also serves as an easy reader.
Educational Themes:

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.

Reading Level:
2.4
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
7 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
3 to 8
Purchase Recommendation:
Skip. There are better adoption stories out there, both for wanting and adopting a pet or becoming an adoptive family.
book cover

Title To Have a Dog
Author Ivona Brezinova
Publisher International Step by Step Association © 2007
Illustrators Zaur Deisadze
ISBN 9781601950130
Material Paperback
Cost $12.95
Genres Animal Character, Family - Adoption, Family
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