Children's Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Play and Friendship

Play and friendship are something that children and animals seem to do naturally without inhibition unless it is trained out of them. I sometimes get puzzled by why my life doesn't have enough play, that me and my friends have to make appointments with one another in this busy adult life, and that we have to schedule play like taking vacations. When did the spontaneous play stop? Like Red in this story, we long for spontaneous play and friendships. I watch my three year old friends play camping and Smokey Bear one minute and then make delicious mud pies the next joined by their dogs. It's a delight to see and hear. Let's all pause and see if we can play with our friends more often, me included!!

The young reader will fall in love with Red the Irish Setter and his new-found dolphin friend. Red is happy with being on the beach as there’s lots to see and do, but he doesn’t have a friend until he spots a dolphin out at sea. Author James B Dworkin has captured the essence of friendship and unexpected animal bonding.

          Artist Michael Chelich has also captured the handsome visages of the dog and dolphin depicting them in action and different perspectives. This is always a challenge for an artist, and Michael has achieved this with his strong, compelling illustrations. The young child will enjoy having this little book on his bookshelf, perhaps playing the roles of Red and the dolphin with his friends. In the early childhood classroom setting, the book can be a jumping off point for units on friendship, dolphins, and domestic pets. It is highly recommended for children ages 2-7. 


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