Toby book cover

This is a heart-warming picture book that does a wonderful job conveying the trials and rewards of adopting a rescue dog.

by Hazel Mitchell
Candlewick Press, 2016
Picture book, fiction
Int Lvl: K-3; Rd Lvl: 1.5
4 out of 5 stars

Toby is the story of the love between a boy and the dog that he selects from the animal shelter. What makes this book special and different is that Hazel Mitchell has accurately portrayed the realities that accompany adopting a dog.

At first, Toby is scared and frightened in his new home and doesn’t want to play with the boy. Toby also has accidents in the house, chews things he shouldn’t, and fails in the boy’s first attempts at dog training. With time and continued training, Toby eventually becomes the perfect pet for his new family.
The realities of adopting a new pet is that it is usually very difficult at the beginning. There are not a lot of moments of puppy perfection and of instant trust and love. This is why so many pets end up in shelters and rescues each year. Hazel Mitchell has written a book that shows young readers the realities of adopting a pet in a realistic and appropriate way. As someone involved with dog rescue, I wish every adopter had to read and discuss the truths found in this heartwarming story!

The author has used the endpapers inside the cover to frame the story, so I encourage readers to make sure not to miss them.

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