It has been said that the dog is man’s best friend, and these books about friendship and dogs definitely support this idea. Through loyalty, companionship, and love, these dogs inspire and support people in many ways.
“Mogie The Heart of the House” Kati Appelt, Illustrated by Marc Rosenthal, 2014, Atheneum, ages 4-8.
Mogie is a testament to the powerful healing power pets can bring humans through a nuzzle or a lick on the hand. Based on a true story, the story of beloved Mogie shares the experiences as he helps to nurse sick children and their families back to physical and mental health at a Ronald McDonald House. Darling pencil and charcoal illustrations display the emotions of both the dog and the people he helps to inspire.
“Me & Dog” by Gene Weingarten, Illustrated by Eric Shansby, 2014, Simon & Schuster, ages 4-8.
In this story of friendship, a boy loves his dog, and a dog worships his boy. Murphy the dog thinks his master knows all and controls the world, deciding what and when he eats and when they go for a walk. The boy feels powerless in the big world, except for when it comes to his dog. The two make a loyal pair, and bold, expressive illustrations give readers an interesting perspective into this pet and human friendship.
“Tuesday Tucks Me In” by Luis Carlos Montálvan with Bret Witter, Photographs by Dan Dion, 2014, Roaring Book Press, ages 4-8.
Tuesday is a service dog who brings joy each day into the life of Luis, a veteran with physical and mental disabilities suffered during his service in the Iraq war. Told from the perspective of Tuesday with bright photograph illustrations, this touching story reveals the many ways a service dog can assist with daily living tasks and bring emotional comfort to a person. The author also shares information about service dogs and calls for people to respect these furry servants and the people who need them.
“Strongheart: The World’s First Movie Star Dog” by Emily Arnold McCully, 2014, Henry Holt & Company, ages 5-9.
Although Strongheart eventually made his way to the big screen in America, he was born in Germany during World War I from parents and grandparents that were champion police dogs. Shortly after arriving in America after the war, he was selected by a Hollywood movie director and screenwriter couple to star in silent movies, all the rage of the 1920’s. Strongheart impressed movie-goers with his stunts and displays of emotions. Today we can see his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Beautiful watercolor illustrations present this German Shepard’s life as an actor and cherished pet.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler
Image by Meg Shearer