Review Blog

Sep 07 2017

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

cover image

Old Barn Books, 2017. ISBN 9781910646328
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Dogs, Therapy dogs, Reading, Libraries. Madeline Finn does not like to read. She refuses to read magazines, books and menus. And she especially hates reading out loud. When she tries the others in her class snigger. They get stars from the teacher for their reading, she gets a sticker which tells her to keep trying. She is despondent. She really wants a star. One day at the library, Mrs Dimple, the librarian takes her to meet Bonnie, a dog who loves to hear people read. In a room with many dogs listening to children read, Madeline finds that the dog does not giggle when she makes a mistake, and puts its paws onto her lap when she tries to read a word she does not understand. They learn to get there together and with Bonnie's help she keeps going.
After a few weeks the teacher asks Madeline to read again and this time she imagines that she is reading to Bonnie and after a hesitant start, reads to the end of the page, receiving her star. She takes it to the library to give to Bonnie and finds out why Bonnie was missing last week at the library.
This charming story of finding your feet, of developing the strength to do something that is difficult will thrill all readers. Bonnie the library dog gives Madeline the confidence to carry on, her simply being there overcomes Madeline's fears about reading.
The soft illustrations depict the dog and child beautifully, supporting those children in the same predicament.
Part of the proceeds of the sale of this book goes to Pets as Therapy, an organisation in the United Kingdom that supports read2dogs. Go to for more information.
Fran Knight

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