Saturday, September 3, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and forty-six

Ideally every child should be happy, and every child should have lots of friends to spend time with. In the real world this is not, alas, how things work. There are many children who "do not fit in" and who sit on the fringes, lonely and left out. Cherry, the little girl in today's picture book, is just such a child. Cherry's best friends are her books until she meet a little dog who is lonely and in need of a friend. 

Benjamin Lacombe
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Walker, 2007, 978-0-8027-9707-0
   Cherry is a lonely little girl who lives in an apartment with her father. From her apartment, Cherry can see the neighborhood children playing together, and she often wishes that she could have someone to play with too. Being shy, she finds herself unable to reach out to other children, so she buries her head in books. “Books are definitely more interesting than those kids,” she tells herself.
   In the afternoons after school, Cherry helps her father out by cleaning the cages in the animal shelter where he works. One day she sees a very lonely little dog sitting quietly in its cage. The dog is “adorable” and “wrinkly,” and Cherry quickly makes friends with her. Cherry even gives the dog a name, Olive, and she takes her for walks. Every day Cherry lives with the fear that Olive’s owners will come and claim her. What will Cherry do if someone takes Olive away from her?
   In this moving and heartwarming story, children will meet two characters who badly need each other. They will see how the love of a dog starts to change Cherry, and how Olive, bless her sweet wrinkly face, gives Cherry a very special and priceless gift.
   Throughout the book atmospheric illustrations are perfectly paired with the author’s sensitively written text.

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