STARRED REVIEW
August 07, 2018

A sweet story celebrating found families and furry friends

By Dan Gemeinhart
Review by

Deceptively simple at first glance, Cori Doerrfeld’s Good Dog is more than your average dog-finds-a-home story. When a little girl passes by the park on the back of her mother’s bike, one small stray dog sees her and suddenly knows exactly where he belongs—if only he can find her again. Readers will cheer as this plucky, determined pup dashes, dodges and digs himself home.

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Deceptively simple at first glance, Cori Doerrfeld’s Good Dog is more than your average dog-finds-a-home story. When a little girl passes by the park on the back of her mother’s bike, one small stray dog sees her and suddenly knows exactly where he belongs—if only he can find her again. Readers will cheer as this plucky, determined pup dashes, dodges and digs himself home.

Narrated with only 27 words, Doerrfeld’s images imbue this story with heartfelt and earnest sentiment. Gentle, muted colors create a world that is kind and welcoming and populated with the most endearing expressions—both human and animal—and the soft, thick lines are distinctly kid-friendly. 

However, Good Dog isn’t an exercise in saccharine sloppiness. While there is plenty of sweetness, Doerrfeld also fills her pages with people of many backgrounds and families of all kinds, creating a strong sense of community and purpose. And Doerrfeld doesn’t ignore the canine population either; seeing-eye dogs, a pup with a wheelchair, working breeds and lap dogs frolic through the story. 

An overwhelming sense of belonging and contentment makes Good Dog a perfect bedtime story and will become a favorite with young readers. But whether you read with your two-legged little ones or your four-legged furry ones, Good Dog has a worthwhile lesson for all of us: When friendship and love rolls by, chase after it.

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Good Dog

Good Dog

By Dan Gemeinhart
Scholastic
ISBN 9781338053883

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