Doreen Norberg, Author and Illustrator
Xlibris Corporation, Fiction, 2010
Suitable for: Ages 4 and up
Themes: Therapy Dogs, Friendship, Healing
Opening/Synopsis: “Otis was a little Pug puppy who lived in a place called the Puppy Patch. On day, the lady who took care of Otis had a long talk with him. She told him, “Otis, I have an important mission for you. There is a young soldier a long way from here who is in need of a friend. This soldier’s mother has chosen you to help her son.” This is a story about a young soldier who returns from war and has difficulty adjusting to everyday life. Otis travels on a plane almost 2,000 miles away from home. The soldier and Otis develop a warm and strong bond. The soldier needs Otis as much as Otis needs the love and friendship of the soldier. He bought Otis a camouflage collar, to match his own uniform. One day the soldier begins to smile again.
Why I like this story: Animals have a healing impact on individuals. They provide emotional support and healing when other approaches don’t work. It is a reminder to us how important and beneficial an animal relationship can be to a person who has been damaged, particularly by war. The author has done a lovely job of telling this story. Her illustrations a colorful and bold. She has donated a part of the proceeds of this book to The Good Dog Foundation, where dogs are trained to help humans heal.
Resources: The Good Dog Foundation suggests that you have your child read to dogs. It’s a popular activity in the organization. It helps children with their reading skills, boosts their self-esteem and teaches them how to interact in a calm way with dogs.
To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books. Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays badge in the right sidebar.