Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog (Lisa Papp)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog by Lisa W. Papp, third in the author’s sweet series on therapy dogs.

Readers once again join the timid yet kindhearted Madeline Finn and her young dog, Star (offspring of Bonnie, the titular library dog from the series’s first installment). Madeline has been training Star to be a therapy dog as well, and his final three tests are to take place at a retirement home, comforting the residents and showing the good canine manners he’s learned. While Madeline and Star’s efforts during the tests show promise, Madeline is troubled by one resident, Mr. Humphrey, who remains silent and withdrawn during their visits. After brainstorming ways to connect with the man – as well as conferring with her mother and Bonnie’s owner, Mrs. Dimple – Madeline decides on patience and kindness as her approach… with heartwarming results.

Lovely. Papp’s gentle story and soft illustrations fit in perfectly with the rest of her series, both an informative introduction to the training and value of therapy dogs, as well as a look at the merits of patience when overcoming a challenge. Newcomers to Madeline’s story may not understand some of the references to previous books, but these are quick moments that don’t distract from the main narrative, and that fans of the series will deeply appreciate (Madeline reading aloud to Mr. Humphrey is especially touching). Madeline, Star, and Bonnie are irresistibly cute in their illustrations, and the elderly residents are rightly humanized, if a little soft-focused to feel realistic (there is a distinct lack of wrinkles, age spots, or other physical signifiers of old age other than some white hair and wheelchairs). The story is a little longer, but worth the read, especially for patient readers; JJ loved the gentle pace and sweet artwork. A lovely continuation of a heartfelt series, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Madeline Finn And The Library Dog (Lisa Papp)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read Madeline Finn And The Library Dog by Lisa Papp, a wonderfully sweet story about friendship and perseverance.

Madeline Finn does NOT like to read. She’s not very good at it, and while she tries very hard, she gets embarrassed and frustrated when she messes up. The other kids even laugh at her sometimes when she struggles, which makes her want to read even less. One Saturday, her mother takes her to the library, where the librarian offers a new reading partner: a big fluffy white dog named Bonnie. When Madeline reads to Bonnie, her furry friend is patient and understanding, and never laughs at her. As Madeline practices, she finds she gets better and better. But the day before she is to read in front of her whole class, Bonnie is gone! Can Madeline find the courage and confidence to read aloud in front of everyone?

Who doesn’t love a book about the bond between a child and a dog? Library dogs are becoming more and more prevalent (due to their effectiveness), so it was really cool to see a book about what a fantastic impact they can make on a child’s literacy and confidence. Plus, any book that encourages little ones to read, even if they have to work hard to learn how, is a great book in our eyes. The illustrations are adorably pleasant and bring a lot of life to Madeline and especially Bonnie. JJ loved this one, and the length was just on the longer side of good for baby bookworms, but not too long for patient readers. Overall, a great story about persistence and friendship, and Baby Bookworm approved!