Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spotlight on Books and Illustrators

Did you know that October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month? Well, it is! So I thought I'd share with you five pictures books about adopting or rescuing dogs. Perfect, right?

We begin with "Let's Get a Pup! said Kate" by Bob Graham (Candlewick, 2001) in which Kate and her parents go to a shelter looking to adopt a new dog. Kate's cat Tiger died the previous winter but now it's summer and she's ready to find a new friend. First they bring home Dave, a puppy full of energy. But at the shelter they also meet Rosy, an older dog that radiates "good intention." What will they do? Can Rosy find her forever home with Kate as well?

Next comes "The Stray Dog" by Marc Simont (HarperCollins, 2001) from a true story by Reiko Sassa. A family out for a fun Sunday picnic in the park meet a stray dog. They name him Willy and play all day. When it's time to go home the dog stays behind, but as the week goes by no one can stop thinking about the him. The following Saturday they're back in the park, but where is Willy?

In "Before You Were Mine" by Maribeth Boelts with illustrations by David Walker (Putnam, 2007) a little boy wonders what his rescued dog's life was like before he adopted him. A truly sweet story, the boy imagines both happy and sad scenarios and we join him in wondering how this loving pup ended up in a shelter. An author's note at the end talks about the benefits of adopting.

In Stephen Michael King's Mutt Dog ( Harcourt, 2005) we meet a little dog living all alone on the street looking for both food and shelter. We follow him on a particularly windy and rainy night as he takes refuge in a homeless shelter. Will mutt dog ever find a home of his own?

Finally, there's "A Day, a Dog" by Gabrielle Vincent (Front Street, 2000), a wordless book that starts with a dog being abandoned by the side of the road. No words are necessary to express his confusion and fear in what can only be described as a powerful story. Although in picture book format, this book is better for older children and adults, but it's one that shouldn't be missed by animal lovers and illustrators alike. An amazing book.

There it is. Do you have favorite books about rescuing pets? I'd love to hear about them!