Wonder Dogs! (Linda Ashman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Wonder Dogs!, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Karen Obuhanych, a delightful and touching ode to canine companions.

Dogs can do all sorts of amazing things! Agility athletes, super-scenters, brave rescuers, courageous guards, and faithful service pups – there are many dogs that have jobs helping people every day. They come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of coats, features, and talents. So when the roly-poly canine narrator questions what kind of wonder dog they might be, they have to think hard; they’re not a working or service dog, not a guard or a show dog. And yet, while our protagonist pup may not always be perfect, they are an expert at one thing: being a best pal to their young human.

Adorable! Ashman’s rhyming text is written with guileless charm, first exploring the breadth of amazing jobs that dogs can do, then deftly pivoting to an explanation of what makes each dog special: their capacity for unconditional love and loyalty. Obuhanych’s utterly sweet illustrations pair with this perfectly, exploring the diversity of breeds and canine professions while also creating a central character and relationship that will pull the heartstrings. For instance, a late scene in which the protagonist pup listens, ear perked, as their young human confides in them, and offers the comfort of a paw on their knee is one that will strike true to any child who grew up with a trusted canine confidant. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ and I both adored it. This one is an absolute treat for dog lovers of all ages, and we highly recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Rain! (Linda Ashman)

Hello, friends! Today, we read Rain!, written by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Christian Robinson, a story about what a positive attitude can do.

As the rain falls over the city, a grumpy old man grumbles about the wet weather while putting on his rain gear. Across town, an excited little boy greets the rain with glee, putting on his froggy rain hat and coat, and hopping through the puddles. Each person he passes sees his joy, and it brings a smile to their faces. Meanwhile, the old man’s angry mood has not improved, and darkens the mood of everyone around him as he lashes out on others. When the two opposites walk into the same cafe, what will happen? Will the man’s foul mood infect the boy as well? Or can a bit of positivity and kindness from the little boy turn the man’s day around?

This was absolutely adorable. The central theme was fantastic, showing that we choose to view things positively or negatively, and those choices not only effect our mood by can make an impact on the attitudes of those around us. I love that it encourages children to examine how what we put out into the world comes back to us, for better or worse. The illustrations are fabulous of course, utilizing Robinson’s signature cut-paper artwork to build a city full of life, people, and weather. The length is perfect for little ones, and JJ loved it. This is a perfect book for a rainy day. Baby Bookworm approved!