Classic Children's Lit

Wise Dog by Josephine Wright

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I’ve been reviewing popular and contemporary picture books, so I decided to mix it up a little with an older book off my son’s shelf. Wise Dog, published in 1966, was gifted to Luke on his first birthday from my aunt along with a big, ol’ stack of books. Most of my books come secondhand, from garage sales, clearance box, giveaways -it’s all good! A book is priceless no matter how it falls into my hands.

The story begins with a funny, but familiar, little scenario when the kittens (very childlike and naive) are discussing and deciding what to be when they grow up. Awww! What a sweet start! The author brings in the threat early, right after introducing the kittens. Those cute little kitties get into a heap of trouble as they let Monkey manipulate them into staying in his circus. Now, you’d think the title character of a children’s book is the protagonist. But, Wise Dog, is . . .neutral if anything. He lost points, in my opinion, when he took advantage of the innocent, albeit dimwitted, kittens by bartering advice for their supper of meat. Ultimately, he does give them advice on how they can escape their peculiar predicament in prison.

The text does not rhyme, but it still has a pleasant pacing and rhythm. Early readers would also appreciate all the repeated phrases and dialogue.

Lastly, but not least! This book is grounded in animals, animals, animals. What child isn’t entertained by animals behaving like humans. Heck, adults still enjoy that, too.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

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The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. A classic. Every child needs to hear about the flower-loving bull who stays true to his gentle personality. He’s so very different from the other bulls, but that doesn’t bother him in the least. Ferdinand is 100% comfortable with himself! Even his mother recognizes his happiness is more important than fitting in. The world needs more picture books that promote peace ✌️ Also, who doesn’t love learning about history & other cultures?

Did you see the movie, “Ferdinand”? How did it compare? I haven’t seen it yet, but I usually agree with the common opinion that books are the better version of a story. Not always the case, though.

Is there a movie you prefer OVER the book? I stand by the movie version of A Little Princess (based on the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett). MUCH more satisfying ending.