Magic Dog Press, Oregon, 2010. ISBN 978-1-453-76355-1.
Reviewed by Martha Meacham
Posted on 11/15/2010
The Very Good Dog, by Sherry Wachter, is a book that an adult can enjoy reading along with a child. There are the larger-lettered passages on each page for the child to share. On some pages, a subtext explanation in smaller print is written in an adult voice as an aside. Since I'm an adult and do not have a child help me with this review, I am reacting as a dog enthusiast and reading teacher.
The illustrations are simple, bold, and done with broad strokes. Since this picture book is illustrated as if it were to be read to children who may be learning to read, the level of some vocabulary words may be a bit advanced. My best guess is that young readers in first, second and third grade will enjoy this story, though clearly younger children will love the pictures, too.
This is a true story about the author's brother's dog named "Sir," a beloved cow dog. "He was a simple dog, of simple tastes and affection," Wachter writes. "He was endlessly patient with my nephew, the pup in his pack. And if sometimes he was too brave, his actions were born of his deep love and unquestioning loyalty for us."
The story is short and sweet—and so is the book.
Sherry Wachter began her writing career in third grade. She illustrates and writes books for young readers from her home in Oregon. She also writes fiction using the name of Bodie Parkhurst. Visit her website.
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