Title: Lost and Found and Rescue Pup
Author: Jean Little
Major Themes: Dogs, Easy Readers, Foster Children
Synopsis: Two books for beginning readers, both of which feature a child with a problem who is helped by a dog.
I’ve liked all of Jean Little’s books that I’ve read. Most of them are for the 8-12-year-old range, but just recently I came across a couple written for younger readers. The story is not as well-developed, but still good enough to interest children, I believe. Jean Little is good at getting into the mind of a child and telling a story through the child’s eyes. I need to try Lost and Found and Rescue Pup out on one of my boys who is just getting to where he can read this level.
In Lost and Found, Lucy and her family have just moved to a new town, and in the few weeks before school starts, Lucy is lonely. One morning when she goes to the store to get something for her mother, she finds a little dog who seems to be lost. Her next find is a girl about her own age who lives close, and who likes to play detective. Will Nan find the dog’s owner? Will Lucy be able to overcome her irritation at Nan for continuing to search for the owner, when Lucy just wants to keep the dog? Will they ever become good friends?
In Rescue Pup, a puppy named Shakespeare is the main character. He will become a Seeing Eye Dog, but first he is placed in a family for a year while he grows up. The family assigns a foster child to care for him. She is determined she will never love anyone again, because she has been hurt so many times. Shakespeare, who has the gift of understanding human speech, does his best to help her come out of her shell. Will she ever allow him to pierce through her shell and let herself care about another person (or animal) again?
The short chapters in Lost and Found and Rescue Pup will be encouraging to a child who is just beginning to read chapter books. I would say they are written on about a 2nd-grade level.
WARNING: Rescue Pup has the animals communicating with each other.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 5 – 6, 7 – 9