Dee White, Author
Tracie Grimwood, Illustrator
EK Books, Fiction, Sep. 30, 2017
Suitable for Ages: 4-8 years
Themes: Friendship, Dog, Inclusion, Deaf, Homeless, Differences
Opening: In Reena’s world, sounds scattered and scrambled and made no sense. But her clear blue eyes saw everything.
Synopsis: Reena is deaf and Dog is homeless, but they are so much more than that. At first Reena and Dog feel like they don’t belong. But when they are a team they help each other. Reena is very observant and doesn’t miss a thing. When they play hide and seek with the other hearing children in the park, Dog shows the kids the best hiding places and Reena always finds them. Their special bond and friendship helps them discover that everyone is different and special in their own way.
Why I like this book:
Dee White’s endearing story is about Reena’s abilities and not her disability.
The bond between Reena and Dog is unbreakable and heartwarming. They find each other’s strengths and work together as a team so that Reena interacts more easily with other hearing children.
Reena has skills and heightened senses that help her navigate her world. She notices things other children don’t, like a branch that breaks and nearly injures another child. When playing hide-and-seek, she’s clever because she notices “eyes peeping through pampas,” and a” pink cardigan camouflaged in cherry blossoms.”
The is a beautiful story of inclusion that teaches children how to respect and celebrate their strengths and differences. The rainbow symbolically embraces the range of differences in our colorful human family. It is a heartwarming story that also shows children the importance of acceptance and friendship.
Tracie Grimwood’s soft, pastel illustrations are lively and add a joyful spirit to the special friendship between a girl and her dog. This is a beautiful collaboration between author and illustrator.
Resources: The book is an excellent is an excellent resource. Learning about differences offers new experiences and fosters compassion in children. Ask children if they know anyone with a disability. Make a list of the disabilities or differences they have seen. It will help them realize that we’re all humans, even if we may need to wear hearing aids, use a walking device or wheelchair, have Down Syndrome or autism.
*The publisher provided me with an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.