Early Book Review: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp is a picture book that is currently scheduled for release on October 1 2016. Madeline Finn DOES NOT like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice cream truck. 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. And to get support from a friend.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog is a beautifully illustrated picturebook that tells the story of one young girl that does not like reading, mainly because it is a struggle for her and she does not want to be laughed at. The desire to do everything we try well, and to fit in, is universal. When Madeline gets the chance to read to a therapy dog at the library she learns that she can do it, she just has to be patient and kind to herself as her furry reading companion.A supportive audience make everything easier, and pretending to be reading to the library dog Bonnie helps Madeline conquer her fears at school. I think children can relate to Madeline even if they do not struggle with reading, but struggle instead with math, sports, or anything else.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog is a wonderful way of showing struggling readers that they are not alone, and that they really can do it. It can also help other kids have more understanding for those that might be struggling. It would also be a good read for introducing a similar program the library. We had a dog program that was briefly a hit at our library, and would have been a long term winner if not for particular issues that had nothing to do with reading. 
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