Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gaston

written by Kelly DiPucchio 
illustrated by Christian Robinson
atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014
review copy from school library


I don't know why I'm just discovering this dog story.  I love dog stories and have a tub of dog story picture books in my classroom which this book needs to be in.  Mrs. Poodle has a litter of four puppies and you the reader follows them as they grow and learn to do poodle things.  Did you know proper poodles sip not slobber?  Did you know they yip not ruff?  Did you know they walk with grace and not race?  I did not know these things about poodles.  Mrs. Poodle has one puppy that is a bit different, Gaston.  He tends to do the things proper pooches don't do.  Things I know dogs to do.  Gaston has some great qualities while being a bit different, "Whatever the lesson, Gaston always worked the hardest, practiced the longest, and smiled the biggest."  

One day while walking in the park with her proper pooches Mrs. Poodle meets Mrs. Bulldog and her puppies.  Something is different about her litter of puppies.  It appears as if there was a switch between the two litters somehow.  I have to stop right now because I don't want to give away the best ending ever.  This book is about belonging, a super reader strength and figuring out you can belong and be a little different at the same time.  Hopefully readers will also discuss how trying new things is a positive but in the end belonging is important and needed.  There's also comfort in going back to something you know.

I just love the warm muted soft tones used for the illustrations.  They really help foster the warmth of this story.

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