Puzzle Solver as Poodle

The book highlights questions that confounds many adults in the United States these days, and offers answers that make the deadly plague and safety practices understandable, even to a preschooler. The toy poodle star of the debut picture book co-authored by A. Chakravorty and M. Stainwell, and Illustrated by Claudia Fasser, puts scientifically accurate information into the mouths of characters designed to appeal and delight children’s hearts. That makes the book more than worth the read to anyone under third grade.

Children will be drawn to Pablo, because he sounds like them. The authors touch on many of the questions and anxieties over the pandemic that haunt small children. Even so, the adorable main character’s manner and voice makes it work. More than a few readers might see the poodle’s short stature, fancy dress and penchant for persistent questions as an homage to Agatha Christie’s sleuth, Hercule Poirot. After all, how many pooches do you know that wear stylish jumpers, a cape, a monocle, eat sushi, and call their owner’s “Mummy” ?

The 24-page, easy read seeds the imagination with insight into the roots of the ongoing fight against the pandemic. Fasser’s drawings perfectly match the motherly tone of the co-authors’ narrative, which reads like a slow, sensitive exchange between a gentle, patient parent and an inquisitive child. One scene that best shows how the authors slide facts into dialog that a child can understand occurs when Pablo asks Mummy why the plague is called coronavirus.

 “The virus looks like a ball wearing a crown, like one a princess would wear,” Mummy explained to Pablo.

As a preschool fact-gatherer, Pablo responds, “Wow, that sounds fabulous.”

The tone continues, as do the questions.

“I’m a little scared and everyone is wearing a mask,” Pablo says. “I cannot see them smiling anymore, and that makes me sad. And the mask makes my monocle fog. And I cannot go to the park to play with my friends, that makes me sad too.”

The book has a few technical flaws in design and layout, but none that affect its ability to inform young minds that in the midst of the pandemic need hope. I don’t know whether the chance will present itself, but I cannot wait to see what Pablo investigates next. The book is a great tool to approach a serious topic even many adults cannot comprehend.

Rated: Nicely done!!!!

Language : English

Paperback : 24 pages

ISBN-10 : 1649695675

ISBN-13 : 978-1649695673

Published by

VGwrites

I am a storyteller, author, editor, blogger, and retired university professor of Creative Writing. Now in Central Florida, I still teach every now and then, but write most of the time. Most recently, I poetry was featured in Mo Joe The Anthology. My last book, 10 Stories Down, a poetry collection published in September 2011, is inspired by several long-term stays in Beijing. Life and Other Things I Know: Poems, Essays and Short Stories (Elephant Eye Press, 1999), was the first. Throughout the years, the list expanded to include: African American Children's Stories: A Treasury of Tradition and Pride, Grandma Loves You: My First Treasury, African American Stories: My First Treasury, Like A Dry Land: A Soul's Journey through the Middle East and contributions to Take Two, They're Small, an anthology of poems, memoir, essay and fiction on food. My poetry, fiction and essays have also appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Washington Living, Upstate New Yorker, The Southern Quarterly, Reporter Magazine, Drylongso, Fyah, MentalSatin, Pinnacle Hill Review, Invisible Universe, Bridges, Ishmael Reed's Konch Magazine, New Verse News, and UpandComing Magazine.

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