Ms. Finn has a secret. She has trouble reading. Words become a jumbled mess on the page. Her mouth traps sentences like flies in a frog's tongue. She stutters and stumbles doing her very best. Still, her classmates laugh at her.
All Madeline wants is the coveted gold star from her teacher. But the Keep Trying hearts are piling up fast. One Saturday, her mom takes her to the worst place ever: the library. Mrs. Dimple, the librarian, has a trick up her sleeve that might just change the way Madeline reads forever.
I love this book! The story is full of compassion and heart. While I never struggled with reading, one of the elementary students I mentored while in high school did. He tried so hard to get the words right, but his lisp and speech impediment made it difficult. I wish Bonnie could have visited him.
Being the owner of a certified therapy dog, this story definitely has a special place in my heart. While we have not yet tried the reading program, I know how much children love dogs and open up to them with free hearts and minds. My dog and I visited a kids' club that had an Autistic little boy. The club workers were shocked when he ran over to my dog and not only touched her but spoke to me. They then informed me that that was the first time they had ever heard the boy speak.
The story shows just how amazing dogs truly are. They make no judgments and place no blame. Dogs only love unconditionally and hope to have their affections returned. They are the perfect companion and reading buddy.
Papp's illustrations are gorgeous. They remind me of the original artwork from the A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh books. I especially love the colorful cast of canine characters. I also like how the illustration styles are different on every page. Some are single page spreads, others are doubles, some feature vignettes, and more. This really captured my attention and made me pause to enjoy each one.
This is a fabulous story for (especially struggling) readers ages 4-8. I could definitely see this book also being used in therapy dog programs throughout the country.