Saturday, November 10, 2018

Fall Reading 2018 Operation Rescue Dog


Anyone who has read Maria's books knows that her stories always feature a dog and this latest title is no exception. Lulu is a rescue dog, one who was found after being dumped near the highway. She is being taken on the Operation Rescue Dog truck to meet someone special. Alma misses her mother who is serving in Iraq; we read that "Alma wears Mami's scarf like a hug." Her Abuela agrees with Alma that they should get a rescue dog and they set out to meet the truck. As they drive Alma wonders "Can a dog feel like a hug?" After several misadventures, our two protagonists finally meet and we hold our breath as we wait to see if they will realize they belong together.

Maria's words capture the feelings of Alma as she deals with the separation from her mother and her hope for a new friend in Lulu. She also manages to portray Lulu's experiences without humanizing her. The illustrations pick up important details such as Lulu's tail tucked between her legs in uncertainty, or Alma rubbing Mami's scarf against her cheek for comfort. Together, text and images tell a heartwarming story of family.

The author's note explains about animal rescue and gives the names of some websites to visit for more information, as well as some other ways to help if you cannot adopt an animal yourself. There is also a glossary of the Spanish words used in the story. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to Best Friends Animal Society.

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