Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 It's Hard to Be Good (Ellie the Wienerdog #1)


Dachshund Ellie with her big brown eyes and wiggly body is trying to be good. In a scene reminiscent of vintage Looney Tunes characters, she has her good and bad selves both trying to influence her. Both halves of her conscience appear in dream bubbles, the naughty side appears among flames and tugs on Ellie's ear to get her attention with a wicked grin. In contrast, the good side is floating among clouds and barking to try and call Ellie away from the bad influence. Ellie says she's only a hound and thinks with her nose. As much as she longs for those words, "What a good dog!" it is hard to resist with "a freshly made sandwich calling." The illustration turns the letters of the word "calling" into slices of bread, ham, lettuce, and mustard, emphasizing the allure of that sandwich. When her "mind starts to spin," we see Ellie's eyes filled with spirals and her ears floating around her head in a psychedelic swirl. Will she be able to fight her way through the haze of fresh ham and earn a treat for being a good girl?

Young readers will find Ellie adorable with her expressive face and dramatic description of how her hound's nose leads her into temptation. It is easy to identify with her and the urge to give in when surrounded by tempting items. When she says that earning praise makes her heart grin, we can actually see a pale purple heart on her chest with a small smile on it. And when she imagines grabbing the sandwich and running off with it, her thought bubble shows an image of herself with the sandwich clasped in her front paws and her back legs running so fast they are a blur. This is a story sure to entertain adults as they help youngsters read and enjoy it. 

Perfect for parents and teachers of young children who are working on learning right from wrong and choosing to do what they know is right. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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