Writer. Wife. Mom. Animal lover. Not necessarily in that order. SCBWI Eastern PA. Despite what my family says, I did not mean to leave them in the snow when the dogsled tipped.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Maggie's Second Chance - Perfect Picture Book Friday
This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.
Let me preface this post with a warning. I needed a box of tissues to get through this book. It has a happy ending but getting there is fraught with emotion. The fact that this book is based on a true story only makes it more powerful.
Title: Maggie's Second Chance
Author: Nancy Furstinger
Illustrator: Joe Hyatt
Publisher: Gryphon Press, 2011
Ages: 5 and up (note: the issue of euthanasia is mentioned although no details are given)
Themes: Animals, Helping Others, Adoption
Synopsis: A pregnant lab mix is found abandoned in a house and taken to a shelter. When a fourth grade boy learns that the dog will be euthanized if no one adopts her, he and his classmates convince their town council to build an animal shelter in their own town and save the dog. This book is based on the true story of Texas fourth graders who founded an animal shelter in their town of Dalhart. It isn't nonfiction; the author has blended two experiences together and uses third person limited from the dog's point of view, but everything rings true.
Opening: Maggie waited, watching the door. Her growing belly grumbled. Where was her dinner?
Perhaps because I've volunteered in animal rescue, this story struck home. I have pulled dogs out of lakes and seen dogs with fur matted so badly they could hardly stand. And in the heat of summer, there were dogs like "Maggie" left behind in empty houses when their owners moved away. I wish every child could read this book and understand that these situations are NOT okay.
Joe Hyatt does an amazing job with the illustrations. The dog's patient expressive eyes and her soft fur are rendered perfectly, layering meaning with the text.
Activities: Talk about what animals and people need. How are our needs different? How are they the same? Visit a local animal shelter--online or in person--to find out how you can help dogs like Maggie. Adoptions.bestfriends.org and www.aspca.org/adoption are good places to learn basic facts about pet adoption. Older children may want to discuss an issue that they feel passionate about and how they might help. The book ties in well to a discussion of all avenues of community service.
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Thanks for sharing this Wendy. Your activity list looks very useful.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jennifer. This book isn't as "fun" as the last few I've reviewed, but it's a gem.ReplyDelete
What a super and important choice, Wendy. i too have volunteered at shelters and think if we can teach youngsters to respect and love animals there's hope they will grow into adults who will do the same. I want to read this one.ReplyDelete
Maybe they'll even learn to respect other people. What a thought.Delete
That cover art looks sooo cool - but is totally trumped by the real story of the big hearts of little people!ReplyDelete
Little people can do a LOT. These guys in TX stole my heart.Delete
Wow! What a powerful story and what inspiring fourth graders. Thank you for sharing. I will look for this book. I know my friends, Stanley & Katrina will be very interested in reading it.ReplyDelete
~Cool Mom for
Stanley & Katrina
Helping to make our communities a better place is Cool!Delete
Thanks so much for spotlighting "Maggie," Wendy! It's a book near and dear to my heart. As soon as I wrote about the amazing DAWGS kids in my "ASPCA Kids: Kids Making a Difference for Animals" I knew I had to dedicate an entire book to them. I still get sniffley when I read this book to kids. The real Maggie (Jolly) lived with me for many happy years...she lives on in this book.ReplyDelete
So glad you like it, Nancy! I'm thrilled to have you stop by. It is a great book.Delete
Great choice, Wendy. This book sounds powerful and important, but I'm pretty sure I'd never be able to read it. All of my dogs my whole life have been rescues. I hate thinking of their lives before they lived with me. :(ReplyDelete
Cupcake is a lucky pooch.Delete
Thanks, Wendy - I hadn't seen this one but it sounds like a keeper!ReplyDelete
It's great that it touches an important subject but stays positive and age appropriate.Delete
Uh oh, Wendy. We've been talking about getting a dog in the fall. Is this book going to send me on an early trip to the animal shelter?ReplyDelete
Simple answer? Yup.ReplyDelete