Friday, September 27, 2013

A Vacation for Pooch - Perfect Picture Book Friday

     I know that I include "Why I liked this book" below as part of the review. But I had to share one reason up front. 

     You can't tell it from the cover photo, but this book is small. But not too small. This picture book is the Goldilocks equivalent of "just right." My ruler says 6 and 1/4 inches tall by 8 and 1/4 inches wide. The perfect size for little hands and laps to enjoy by themselves. Or to fit in a carry-on bag for a child's vacation. Perhaps that makes it less attractive to story-time readers who have to hold the book up for an audience but I say let them all scooch in closer and enjoy it.

   
The real cover is lighter blue than this image appears
  

Title: A Vacation for Pooch, Fiction

Author/Illustrator: Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 2013

Audience: 4-7


Themes:Vacation/Travel, Separation

Opening: "Violet packed two bags. In one bag she packed her doll, Molly, crayons, drawing paper and her favorite books. And in the other, she packed a leash, dog food, a red ball , and Pooch's stuffed cat.

Synopsis: When Violet and her family fly off to a beach vacation, Violet worries that her dog will be lonely at Grandpa's farm.

Why I liked this book: First, there's that cute book size I talked about above. Next, the author captures Violet's emotions so well. The text doesn't say how old she is, but she looks 4-7 and has the swing of emotions that feel so right for this age range. First Violet worries about Pooch, then she gets caught up in her own adventure oblivious to her prior worries, then she implodes in a fit of hysteria when reminded about Pooch. And I'm no artist, so I don't even know exactly what this means but the illustrations of "gouache with fabric collage on watercolor paper" are jaunty and adorable.  The dog's favorite toy is a stuffed cat with X eyes. I also love that Ms. Cocca-Leffler says on the back flap that her inspiration for this book was her own daughter leaving for college.

Activities/Resources: The author has activity pages on her website for her older books. A Vacation for Pooch came out earlier this year, so maybe some will be in the offing for this title, too?? 
Until then. . . . children can practice their planning skills by packing for a vacation (or just brainstorm). What do you really need to take when you travel? (one college-age son went to China for three weeks using only one carry-on!) Do you need to make preparations for plants, pets, relatives left behind? 
Or, use online sites or travel books and brochures to plan the perfect holiday. Would it be somewhere your pet would enjoy or would they be happier at home or staying elsewhere? Googling the term "pet friendly vacations" brings up hundreds of places you and your pet could go together. 

This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books on her blog.

Thanks for stopping by! Our family has had dogs with health issues, so they always did better being left at home with a live-in housesitter when we were away.

Where would your perfect vacation be?



20 comments:

  1. Love small books, even for my own wide-load hands! And I have to see Pooch's stuffed cat!

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    1. LOL, Julie. You got me staring at my own ratty from yard-work hands, now!

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  2. Apparently I can't comment via the FB link to this blog and lost my comment.

    I'd enjoyed Maryann's art and writing for years in Babybug and this looks like a lovely extension of her work.

    My favorite vacation would be in my own home. Our neighbor across the street used to rent her home out as a vacation home and our place is even nicer. Plus, I'm a homebody. :)

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    1. You can come stay with me, Teresa. I'd treat you like family (do you do windows?!) I'm a pet-friendly destination. :)

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  3. Reading your entry makes me want to take a vacation! Looks like an engaging book, Wendy.

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  4. I have been searching for character-driven picture books for research, and this looks like a perfect choice. I can't wait to check it out. I love your thought about"scooch-ing" closer to read it!

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    1. I'm a scoocher from way back, Joanne. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. What a wonderful book! With a concept that makes me say "I wish I'd thought of that!!!" Considering how I worry over my pets any time we have to leave them, I think it's great that someone has addressed this issue for children! So glad to be adding this to our list - I think it's a first on this topic! Thanks, Wendy!

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    1. I say "I wish I'd thought of that" a lot!

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  6. So clever, I love this idea! I think this would be a great gift for pet-owning kids.

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    1. Perfect picture book Friday is a holiday helper, so many books to learn about we should all have our shopping lists done!

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  7. My perfect vacation would be WITH MY MOM! She can pack me a bag, but then we'll need to take it along. I hate getting dropped off....

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

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    1. Sounds like you're ready for one of those fancy pet spas, Cupcake. Food and treats for you and Mom!

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  8. I love small books! They're soooo much easier to carry around! I have a travel bag that stays packed all the time -- for pet therapy trips. The Mom Person calls it my diaper bag. I don't know what she means by that. No diapers in it. Plastic bags, yes. Toys and brushes and treats, yes. I need to check out this book. I hope it tells how Pooch gets along at Grandpa's farm.

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    1. Let's just say Pooch is a lot chiller than Violet (we owners don't give them enough credit!)

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  9. Sounds like a sweet, charming book.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Darshana. :)

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  10. Hmmmm....I'm dreaming of Paris right now, and I'm not talking about Paris, Las Vegas.

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    1. This summer I visited Las Vegas! Las Vegas, New Mexico that is. I guess it's all in how you spin it.

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