Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrator: Harry Bliss
Rosie is a sweet little terrier who lives alone with her master and she is mostly content, but she doesn't have any friends. One day while walking Rosie through the park, her master decides to try the dog park. At first Rosie is put off by a giant St. Bernard with somewhat startling drool habits and size. Then she feels uncomfortable around Fifi, a tiny breed in a rhinestone collar who seems a bit too jumpy and yappy. Just then the big old Bernard takes the entire little dog into his mouth and begins to shake her just like he did his toy! Rosie's master intervenes and rescues Fifi, who has lost a few sparkly stones on her collar so it now reads 'Fif.' Rosie demonstrates to both dogs how one should make friends and soon they are best friends who meet in the park every day.
This book has a great message about opening up to new experiences and making friends. Rosie's hesitation to the new situation would be very relevant to pre-schoolers about to start kindergarten or to any young child who is moving, starting at a new school, or beginning a new grade. Rosie conveys that feeling of being unsure in new surroundings and around new people. Rosie also demonstrates an effective and polite method of making new friends by asking the two overly aggressive friend-makers if they want to be friends before she engages with them in play. The St. Bernard also sets a good example when he offers an apology and a promise to be more gentle to Fif. It's very fun that Fifi thinks that the change in her collar makes a change in her name as well. If you have a little reader who is dreading a new thing, this is the book to bring home.