Sunday, September 25, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and sixty-eight

Just before I was born, my parents got a puppy, so I was lucky enough to grow up with a dog in the house. Balloo was a wonderful canine person who taught me a great deal about courage, patience, and unselfish love, and because of her I have never really been afraid of dogs. I do have some friends who are terrified of them, and it is painful to see how afraid they get when a dog walks towards them.

Today's picture book tells the story of one little boy who is afraid of dogs, and who discovers something really important about fear.

Not Afraid of DogsNot afraid of dogs

Susanna Pitzer
Illustrations by Larry Day
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Walker, 2006, 0-8027-8067-9
   Daniel is not afraid of spiders, or snakes, or thunderstorms, but he is afraid of dogs. Of course, Daniel won’t admit that he is afraid of dogs. He insists that he simply doesn’t like them.
   Everywhere he goes, Daniel avoids dogs. He climbs the stairs if there is a dog in the elevator, he crosses the street if a dog is walking down the sidewalk, and he leaves the park if a dog is there.
   One day he comes home to find out that his mother has agreed to take care of Aunt Rose’s dog Bandit. Daniel is furious, and he refuses to come out of his room, even for dinner. That night Daniel has to go to the bathroom. How can he be sure that he won’t encounter Bandit, and what should he do if he does come nose to nose with the little dog?
   In this charming and sensitively written book, Susanna Pitzer shows her readers how our fears can be crippling, and how they often doesn’t make any sense. Sometimes the thing that we are afraid of is actually not a threat at all.

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