Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a super sweet story about trying your best and overcoming your fears with a little help from your friends.
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
By Lisa Papp
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Peachtree Publishers on October 1, 2016
Theme/Topic-Reading/Trying Your Best
Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “I do NOT like to read!“
Synopsis from Publisher: “Madeline Finn DOES NOT like to read.
Not even the menu on the ice cream truck.
But Madeline Finn DOES want a gold star from her teacher.
Stars are for good readers.
Stars are for understanding words.
And saying them out loud.
Fortunately, Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading out loud to Bonnie isn’t so bad. When Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn’t mind. Madeline Finn can pet her until she figures the word out.
As it turns out, it’s fun to read when you’re not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it s okay to go slow. And to keep trying. Just like the sticker says.“
What I Thought- I really like how this book doesn’t attribute Madeline’s reading troubles to anything, such as dyslexia, so it can relate to any kid, whether they have dyslexia or just trouble reading. Ms. Papp has written a good story about how if you keep trying at something, and take your time, you can ultimately succeed at your goal. It’s also nice that the story teaches this all without making it obvious that you are learning. That’s skill. Ms. Papp’s soft watercolors make the story feel intimate and cheery. The book is perfect to read with children, as it is a problem they may empathize with. Madeline Finn will remind you of that one spunky person in your life who is insistent that it is their way or the highway. She wants to read, but is certain she cannot. She realizes that with gentle, quiet support (dogs don’t judge you for making mistakes) she can keep going, and ultimately succeed. It’s a nice story with a positive ending, and an even happier twist. Kids will like this story that encourages them to keep trying and work it out.
Activities and Resources- I found a great article that has tips to encourage reading from Readingrockets.org HERE!
There is a good article on teaching perseverance with young kids at Momentsaday.com HERE!
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!