March 7, 2014

Perfect Picture Book Friday - JJ The American Street Dog

Well, it's Friday, and guess what?  It's still zero!

Every morning I wake up all hopeful that today will be warmer.  The light is coming earlier (well, at least until daylight savings times throws a monkey wrench in that on Saturday night :)), and the angle of the light says spring is coming.  The robins are incurably optimistic.  But every morning I walk downstairs and check the thermometer and it's still COLD.

The novelty has worn off.

I've forgotten what grass looks like.

But it is March!  Time is on our side!  And to help us throw off the winter doldrums, we have the amazing March Madness Writing Contest to distract us, with the fantastic first prize of a read and critique by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary!  So I hope you're all busily concocting stories :)

Chins up, everyone!  It's technically less than 2 weeks until spring AND the contest fun! :)

And now, how about a Perfect Picture Book or two or twenty to get us through the weekend?


Title: JJ The American Street Dog And How He Came To Live At Our House
Written By: Diane Rose-Solomon
Illustrated By: Rachel Cellinese
SOP3 Publishing, 2012, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: responsibility, pets, rescue animals

Opening: "Since as long as I can remember, I've wanted a dog.  At night, I dream about dogs.  Little dogs with floppy ears and short legs. Big dogs with pointy ears and long legs. There are brown dogs, tan dogs and spotted all over dogs. Some are even pink and green. But those dogs are just in my dreams."

Brief Synopsis: Maya has always wanted a dog.  When her Uncle Jerry finds a stray, it looks like maybe her dream will come true.  But what if his owner comes to claim him?  Maya learns a lot about stray dogs and about what it is to care for a pet of her own.

Links To Resources: talk about caring for pets, discuss responsibility and what that means in relation to taking care of an animal, talk about making thoughtful decisions, Bookmaking Activity, free downloadable worksheets for individual grades, Animal Welfare Lessons from the ASPCA, some animal rescue information at the back of the book.

Why I Like This Book: Well, you guys all know I love dogs, and that both my dogs are rescues, so this is a topic near and dear to my heart.  The story is entertaining and serves to get across a lot of information to help kids understand why dogs may be homeless and how they can help.  Although this is a fictional story, the information presented within it is true.  Lots of kids want pets, or think they do, so a story like this can be helpful in promoting discussion of exactly what is involved and expected.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers, please be sure to leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come visit you (since it's still too cold to spend much time outside!)

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! :)

Reactions:

55 comments:

  1. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 7, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    This book sounds sweet and cute! I really want a dog too. :) Of course, whenever I think we are ready, Dad thinks up 500 reasons why we aren't. (So much that, with all of the negativeness of his attitude, I suggested getting a cat (he hates cats)). ;)
    It is getting somewhat warmer here. No robins though. Deer, lots of deer. ;)

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  2. JJ looks adorable. And it's getting warmer here, too, so there's hope. Maybe if I sent your birds packing?? Have a cozy day!

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  3. Ooh- I have a stray dog story for next week! Can I link to your post? I wish our posts could help every dog find a home. Still snow here, too, but there is grass peeking out around the trees after a few warm days! Fingers crossed.

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  4. Yes of course! Definitely link! The more word gets around the more strays may be helped! And grass! Oh grass! How I long to see thee! :)

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  5. I'm willing to try anything, Barbara :) Have a lovely day too :)

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  6. Right now with Puppy Godzilla in our house, I'm about ready to be rescued myself! JJ sounds like a great book for kids. Kids and parents need to know the reality of caring for and training a dog. I think a lot of dogs end up in shelters because people get swept up in the cuteness of a dog but don't put thought into helping that dog be a good citizen.

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  7. We can't have cats. My husband is allergic. He's not too fond of the dog hair, but he loves the dogs :) I wanted a a dog my whole life, but I grew up in New York City, which my dad said was no place for a dog. So I had to wait until I graduated from college. I got my first dog a week after graduation :)

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  8. zero - br-r-r. We're lucky - it's all the way up into the single digits here, and we're headed for a warming trend. Quite possibly to break freezing sometime later today. Or tomorrow. All I know is the taps are in, the buckets hung, and now we wait. What a great review of JJ - you need a loving heart to care for a stray, even knowing that he might belong to another.

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  9. That is so true, Rhythm. Oftentimes people just don't know enough if they've never had a dog before. It's a learning process like everything else. But it would be nice if the learning could take place beforehand and not at the expense of the dogs. So many people - even adults - really have no concept of the work and responsibility of owning a dog.

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  10. I forget where you live, Sue - sounds like maple syrup area in Vermont - yum! :) I hope kids will have a chance to be exposed to books like this, and education about owning pets, so that more pets find good homes and fewer are discarded.

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  11. Hard to say what's better, the constant see-saw tease- one day 50F, next day 3-6", or the slow but steady transition? Okay, I guess CO weather is nice, I can hang out wash if I have good reflexes! Here's hoping you can soon too!

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  12. What a lovely cover! Always welcome a book about rescued pets. Although kids love pets, it is important for kids to take responsibility and learn know how to take care of a pet.. Great choice.

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  13. So cute, and a terrific topic. All my babies have been rescues, currently a humongous chocolate lab who had five homes in four years. 'Can't figure out why, other than his size. So thanks for a perfect pick.

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  14. Oh my goodness! It's hard to imagine why a lab would have 5 homes in 4 years! Thank goodness you found each other, Joanne! :)

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  15. Thanks, Pat. I so agree. I think if people were better educated they might make fewer mistakes. Pets are a big commitment.

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  16. Glad you like it, Andrea! What kind of dog do you have?

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  17. Hi Andrea- I love the illustration too. Thanks! I'm Diane, the author and Rachel, the illustrator did a beautiful job conveying the feeling of how much Maya (the girl in the book) loves her dog.

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  18. Hi Sue- It's Diane, the author. We were afraid when we found the real JJ (The book is a fictionalized version of our real story) that he might belong to someone because he had a "collar" on. But we did put up signs etc. to find an owner. The "collar" he had was a choke chain and it was so tight that we had trouble getting it off, so clearly he was neglected (the fleas and worms were another indicator). At the time I didn't know about rescue and we were going to get a dog from a breeder. Finding JJ opened my heart to rescue and changed my life.

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  19. Hahaha! You are so funny, Julie :) Hanging out the wash is going to take a few more days at least - even if I could navigate the ice, all the clothes would do is freeze! :)

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  20. The best dogs are rescue dogs :) The two I have now are my third and fourth and they have all been exceptional friends.

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  21. Exactly! Hi Rhythm, it's Diane, the author. Puppies are tough. Hang in there! My next book is about training. It all takes a lot of patience. Here's a "puppy manual" from Adopt a pet in case that's helpful. They have a ton of resources on their site. http://www.adoptapet.com/blog/puppy-manual/
    It will go quickly, so as I say in "JJ The American Street Dog" take lots of pictures.

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  22. Hi Erik- It's Diane, the author. Yep- most kids want a dog. But I suppose Dad trumps. The good news is you'll be an adult soon enough and will be totally ready for the responsibility! I'd love to share "JJ The American Street Dog" with you if you are interested. Have a great day!

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  23. Ah! Sounds so cute! Kids do need to know about the responsibility part of having pets.
    The cover is adorable.
    (I forgot to publish my post, but it's done now.)

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  24. This is very cute Susanna. What a great book for kids wanting to get a pet. I smile when I read your comments regarding your weather. Summer is nearly finishing and yes the mornings are becoming darker a sure sign Autumn (or fall as you guys call it) is almost upon us. It's getting a bit cooler when I wake up at around 5.30am in the mornings and gets darker quicker and cooler in the evenings. I'm still in summer wear and we are making the most of what beautiful sunny blue skys we have; getting out in the garden, trips out to the beach and picnics etc.... while we can. I am not looking forward to our windy wet winter. Thank you for sharing your lovely choice today, Susanna.

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  25. Thanks Ms Diane! JJ looks like a good tale and I'll be looking forward to your training book. There is a real need for training books geared to kids. I do my part in teaching kids how to act around dogs, but it amazes me sometimes how clueless some people can be!

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  26. Oh nearly forgot, here we hang out our washing nearly all year round. :)

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  27. well, you had me at dog...(wink) this sounds just as cute as a button! gotta check it out. the illos look as cute as the story so I think diane has a winner. thanks for sharing this one!

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  28. I Love the sound of this book and Yes, spring is around the corner although we can''t tell yet. The cardinals are just as hungerly pecking the sunflower seeds as ever on our deck.

    I am ever so sorry, Susanna, that I do not have a PPBF to link to this Friday but I did put the link to your blog up and some gifts to my writer friends on my own blog. Time just ran away from me this week. Hopefully I can plan better next week. My book project needs the enjoyment of PPBF because other wise it is too serious. :)

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  29. Laura Anne MillerMarch 7, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    I'm with you on thinking Spring! For the first time in weeks it is over 30* - so hang in there - it's heading your way. I love the sound of of your PB choice--looks like a sweet read..I've got a doggy book for next week too. I'm a little late posting today - playing the health insurance game again today...UGH. Now I'll go look at some PPBF choices - it may bring my blood pressure down :P

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  30. We're in the 50s today so that should reach you by tomorrow...hang in there! :)

    This is an excellent book to teach about pet responsibility. Of course, most people, let alone kids, will think "oh it won't be a problem for me" until they're actually living in the reality of it. ;) Dog ownership is worth it though. The rewards of a dog's love is well worth it.

    Happy Friday!

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  31. Karen Mae ZoccoliMarch 7, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    This book sounds wonderful and I love the cover and name JJ. Our dog was from a shelter, so it really tugs at my heart. What a great way to teach a child what is really involved with caring for a dog, and have a discussion about the responsibilities. "Our" family dog that everyone wanted and promised to help with, although the family dog indeed and much loved, is basically my baby. So you know who's doing all the caretaking and walking, rain or shine (or snow!)! lol, A dog definitely adds a lot of love to a family and can be a great teacher of compassion and kindness. TGIF!

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  32. Can't have too many dog books, right? Especially about rescues! Lovely choice.

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  33. This does sound fun and with a good message. I'll be on the look-out for this one. Thanks for the review.

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  34. Thanks, Joanna. I have to say, I do love dog books :)

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  35. So true, Karen. Our dogs are also beloved family pets but they are my babies - feeding, grooming, walking, etc. Although I confess they are shedders and I do not vacuum as often as some people in my house would like :)

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  36. Oh yay! I like the sound of 50 degrees! :) And I definitely agree that having dogs is the best. I've got one sharing space in my lap with my laptop right now... even though she weighs 60 pounds :) (And I'm being kind because let's face it, none of us has kept up with our fitness program as well as we should have in this weather! :))

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  37. There's nothing like PBs... and dogs :)... to bring down the blood pressure :) I'm happy to hear of any warm weather heading our way, and i will look forward to your doggy book next week. Wendy says she has one for next week too, so I will get a nice complement of new dog books :)

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  38. Oh my goodness, Clar! Please don't worry for a second! It is not an obligation. I have trouble too sometimes - you know I reposted an old one a couple weeks ago because I ran out of time :) Here's to spring! :)

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  39. You and Diane should chat since you both wrote dog books :)

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  40. Ooh, your current weather sounds lovely, Diane. I feel less wintery just for hearing it! :) Glad you like today's choice, and if it's temperate enough to hang out your washing all year, maybe I should move :)

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  41. Yes, kids do. And I also think it's important to introduce the idea of shelter animals as potential pets. There are so many that need loving homes and would make great pets - my own are a case in point! - and no one should feel like they have to go buy a purebred.

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  42. And Diane, in case you didn't know, Rhythm is a dog who does therapy reading with kids :)

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  43. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 8, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    That's hard-core dog love. :) I am glad that your husband is okay with dogs. :D
    But, apparently, our yard doesn't have enough grass yet (our house just got built last year and we moved in during the summer), our yard is a mess because we don't have grass, our yard gets extremely muddy, and there is the small matter of... Um, waste. ;)

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  44. Yeah. You have to pick it up. We live in the middle of the woods, so we can just pick it up with a shovel and throw it into the distance. But you can get little doggy waste systems - pretty effective - almost like a petite septic system for dogs :) Or a little doggy trash can to keep outside. With one dog it's not that bad. Two gets a little more involved :)

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  45. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_ErikMarch 8, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    We live in the woods, too. But, also, the shovel... I just think I'd walk the dog and let it "go" in the woods.

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  46. What a sweet story. Maya sounds like my daughter before she got her rescue dog.

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  47. Mike Allegra writerMarch 9, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Oh, Jiminy! I gotta fairy tale to write! Is the spring theme mandatory or optional?

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  48. Aw! So nice you have a rescue dog too :)

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  49. You could do that as long as no one else uses those woods and is likely to complain about what they step in :)

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  50. Thank you! Thank you! I see you grabbed my PPBF post...I wasn't able to comment or post it from my son's computer. But the lack of internet capability was worth it...I had an awesome time with 10-month old Sophie.:) What a great book, Susanna...and I'm excited about the March Madness Writing Contest.

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  51. Me, too! (If only I had even an inkling of an idea for my sample...!)

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