Hot Dog by Doug Salati (Random House, May 2022) contrasts the oppressive heat of a busy city in summer with the bright freedom and delight of an open beach. The nameless dog obviously swelters in the sun and then delights it in as he leaps across the sand and splashes in cool blue waves. It’s

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Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins series nicely captures the creative Henry through his upper elementary years, especially focusing on his innovation, his creativity as a kid, and the antics of his adopted stray dog, Ribsy. Although the series is dated, having been written beginning in the 1950s, Henry’s adventures show universal frustrations and difficulties that any

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reviewed by C, age 11 The graphic novel Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphix, March 2021) has the theme that change can be hard. The main character, Maggie, finds out that she is allergic to dogs and fur. Maggie later meets her best friend, Claire. This book takes place in modern

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I read the first book in the Ava and Pip trilogy many years ago, when my kids were very young. Now that My daughter is 10 years old, I felt like it was time I revisit it, especially since there are two other books in the series that were not around when I reviewed the

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Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press, March 2000) is called Because of Winn-Dixie because it tells of the things that happened because Winn-Dixie, a dog, came into Opal’s life. The first thing was that Opal found Winn-Dixie. Opal was lonely. She just had moved to a new town, and she had no friends and now she

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Lost Cat by C. Roger Madder (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) has gorgeous illustrations of a cat and the feet it encounters as it tries to find its owner after it’s lost during a move. I love how the pictures showed things from the cat’s perspective! Each of the different shoes he met gave him a

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Socks (1973) is not a Beverly Cleary book I ever discovered as a child, but I love it! It’s a simple story told from the perspective of a cat named Socks, beginning with his first day of true consciousness: the day he would be sold by the boy and girl who had taken care of

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Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel & Friends, October 2014) is chocked full of amazing characterization. Rose is a preteen struggling with OCD and difficulties fitting in because she is on the autism spectrum. But Rose is not stupid, and her quick wit and clever ways of dealing with her frustrating life One of

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A 1959 Newbery Honor book, Along Came a Dog by Meindert DeJong is a simple story of an unlikely friendship. Most of the action is between animals; therefore, there is little dialog. But despite the slower pace of the story, the author creates a moving tale of friendship and support that I really enjoyed reading.

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Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton (Candlewick, 2012) is a book I can’t quite bring myself to like, and yet my son loves it! Part of my dislike relates to the computer-rendered modern images: the bright orange and red illustrations remind me of computer drawings I attempted years ago and the typeface is also rather

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