By Bob Graham
Picture Book: 2-6
Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)
Summary: The family in this story goes to a local Rescue Center to get a puppy, but in the end, they end up with two.
I was a bit taken aback by the way that this story began. The young girl, Kate, wakes her mother and father up shouting, “let’s get a pup!” And just like that, her parents hop out of bed and they end up getting two dogs within a forty-eight hour time period. I found this to be pretty unrealistic, since puppies require a lot of work. Most families do not just wake up one morning, decide they want a pet, and go and get one that morning. Instead, the process takes time. Plus, once the family brought home the one puppy and realized how loud a puppy can be, they decided to go back and get a second dog the next day. I guess to me, this just didn’t make so much sense.
I was reading this book outloud (to one of my roommates), without looking at the pictures. I got about halfway through the book before I even glanced at the pictures, and when I did, I was a bit surprised. I looked over to see the mother with a nose ring and a big blue tattoo on her bicep. Further over, the father had on a t-shirt with a lit, smoking cigarette. In my personal opinion, I was shocked to see such a portrayal in a children’s picture book. I was originally reading this book to determine whether or not I was going to bring it to read to a second grader. Once I saw the illustrations, I decided that it might not be so appropriate. The more I thought about it, the more I struggled with what to do with a book like this. On one hand, many students might have parents that have tattoos or piercings, or who smoke cigarettes. Does this make it okay to read to the rest of the class thought? While the illustrations would bring a bit of diversity to the reading circle, I can see how many parents might have reservations about such images, and be opposed to the promotion of them by means of a children’s book. Would I be comfortable with my own child being in a classroom where a book like this is read, probably not. But my opinion is not the only one that matters, nor is it the correct opinion. While the piercings and tattoo took me aback, it was the cigarette that led me to not include the book in my selection for the second grader. I feel strongly that smoking should not be promoted in the classroom, and I felt that these illustrations did just that. I’m still really unsure of how to deal with such a book, and whether or not it is something that I might include in my own classroom.Regardless of the illustrations, I was not a big fan of the story line, due to its possible unreality, as well as to the slow story line. I found myself glancing over at the illustrations, mainly because I was bored of the text. There was not a lot of excitement or action. I would probably not use this book in my future classroom for this reason alone, but am still curious about the etiquette dealing with the illustration issue/concern.