Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: David Slonim
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Owning a dog is not always easy, but in this story about Patch and his boy they are “buddies through thick and thin.” Three delightful short stories show Patch’s encounter with a prickly bush when chasing rabbits, sleeping outside in the dog house when he has fleas, and failing miserably in a contest of dog tricks even when he could do the tricks perfectly in practice. In each story, Patch’s owner patiently tends to his dog’s hurts, empathizes with his banishment and reaffirms his love for his pet through their disappointments.
This book is basically a picture book with three short chapters. It is suitable to read to preschool children and for early readers to read themselves. Many good discussions could come from the principles addressed in this book. Charming watercolor and pencil drawings adeptly illustrate emotions of delight, pride, sadness, fear, and love that will amuse children as they become involved in the story of Patch and his owner. This book about having a dog and demonstrates the ups and downs of caring for a pet as well as the responsibilities involved. Perhaps its sweetest message is that we can love and be loved “no matter what.”