Reviews /

Madeline Finn and the Rescue Dog

Authored by Lisa Papp
Illustrated by Lisa Papp
Published by Old Barn Books

Tagged , ,

Madeline Finn and the Rescue Dog: Many of us are aware of the various initiatives such as ‘Paws and Read’ and ‘Bark and Read’ which support children’s reading confidence by encouraging them to read to a dog, a theme explored in Madeline Finn and the Library Dog. But what about the benefit to the dog?  Human-hound interaction works both ways, and this book turns the original idea slightly on its head and focuses on the need of all dogs for love – expressed in this instance by reading to them.

Bonnie, the dog in the first book, has now had pups, and Madeline is going to be allowed to have one. During the course of choosing her pup, Madeline learns that Bonnie was a rescue dog, and that there are many more in the local centre. Madeline decides to put up posters to ask local people to collect towels and blankets and to go to read to the dogs still waiting for new homes. There is a lovely moment when the scheme appears to have failed as no-one turns up at the advertised hour, only for a crowd to appear after Madeline has finished reading her fifth book to the dogs. They apologise for being late – there had been a crowd at the library checking out books to bring.

This is a book which allows Early Years and KS1 children to explore ideas relating to reading confidence, to find reassurance that not everyone likes reading out loud and that it can make them reluctant to try. I wonder how many children will recognise the fact that whilst this book throws the spotlight on the dog, the children are still benefiting in a similar way to the reading therapy dogs schemes.

The illustrations are delightful: gentle depictions in pastels of the action as it unfolds.  Definitely a worthy contender for the Early Years classroom, and beyond.