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
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?