Rags: Hero Dog of WWI by Margot Theis Raven, illustrated by Petra Brown; Sleeping Bear Press
A scrappy puppy proves his courage and loyalty in this book about a real dog that “fought” with the United States forces in France during WWI. Homeless, Rags is found by Private James Donovan in Paris. The two become inseparable. Rags carries messages, warns soldiers of incoming shells and even learns to salute. Donovan, for his part, cares for his pet going so far as to make a gas mask for the dog. The soft, earthy tones of the illustrations gently present battle scenes to young readers while conveying the affection between the soldiers and their mascot. Parents may want to preview the book because of its touching conclusion.
Trigger and the Baby Pheasant by Amy Mayer, illustrated by Dindo Contento; Tate Publishing
A short, but simple story about an intelligent and energetic pup who saves a clutch of pheasant chicks. Trigger’s owners, a young couple, are not only enthusiastic about their new pet, but demonstrate great cheerfulness in performing an act of service for the pheasants’ owner. The book’s illustrations are realistic and expressive. Children who have a dog of their own will appreciate Trigger’s eagerness to please.
Jennifer Minicus is a wife and mother living in Ridgewood, NJ.