Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Good Dog by Todd Kessler

The Good Dog
There are two stories going on in this book, both of which, in my opinion, are not really appropriate for the children this is directed towards.  The first story is that of a dog, whom a boy finds as a stray puppy and brings home, which is nice, but then the boy's parents say that if the dog is bad, he will be sent to the pound, which is depicted as an evil, nasty place.  I think the emphasis on being good without taking any excuses for "bad" behavior into account,  along with the inaccurate depiction of the dog pound are not appropriate for young children.  The second story is of a large processed food bakery that makes tasteless sweets that people eat because there are no better options, that is then threatened by competition from a small, family owned bakery that makes delicious sweets. This is the family that takes in the dog. The evil processed food factory owner tries to make his old tasteless sweets look prettier without actually making them any better and when that fails, he takes bugs and mice from his own factory and puts them into the family owned bakery to sabotage it.  I don't really see that as an appropriate topic for first graders either.  The book is an overly long picture book and while the reading level is about right for first and second graders and it is well written, I think it might be easier for kids to read if it were divided into chapters.  The illustrations are very well done and are my favorite part of the book.  I received this book free to review from Netgalley.

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