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Reviewed by:
  • Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari
  • Deborah Stevenson, Editor
Gianferrari, Maria Hello Goodbye Dog; illus. by Patrice Barton. Roaring Brook, 2017[34p]
ISBN 978-1-62672-177-7 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys Ad 5–8 yrs

“There was nothing Moose loved more than hello,” and the dog happily greets her owner, Zara, when she comes home from school. The pup finds goodbyes unbearable, however, and keeps finding ways to escape and find Zara at school; unfortunately though each time she settles down quietly as long as Zara reads to her, the adults insist she can’t stay. Clever Zara takes Moose to therapy dog school, and then Moose becomes the class reading dog, saying hello to all the kids in the class as they read. The “Mary Had a Little Lamb” story of the dog who keeps turning up at school is entertaining, and Gianferrari describes Moose’s exploits with well-measured style (“Goodbye was an itch that couldn’t be scratched”). The therapy dog solution is an implausible contrivance, though, with its misleading implication that it allows kids to take their dogs to school; the canine category also isn’t well differentiated from a service dog, especially given Zara’s use of a wheelchair. Barton leavens the sweetness of her softly smudged colored pencil and watercolor art with humorous touches such as the motion lines around Moose’s constantly wagging tail and the dotted line showing Moose’s trajectory as she gambols through the cafeteria, and the diverse cast of kids is just plain adorable. This might make an appealing introduction to the concept of therapy dogs—just be ready for kids who then want to bring their own pooches in. An author’s note gives more information about therapy dogs and reading and provides a couple of websites for information. [End Page 452]



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