CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 16. . . .December 20, 2013
Daisy's Biggest Success.
Harriet Zaidman. Illustrated by Sarah Neville.
Winnipeg, MB: Forest Park Press, 2013.
28 pp., hardcover, $21.95.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Meredith Cleversey.
Daisy's tail began to wag. When her family came home, they found the books strewn over the floor. Daisy greeted them, her tail swishing back and forth. "We'd better put even more books up tomorrow," the puzzled parents said. The next day, they did. When they returned, all the books were on the floor again.
More books went up, and more came down. Daisy turned pages hour after hour, learning from the pictures. Every day open books littered the floor, and Daisy was among them. But she wasn't jumping on the couch or shedding on the cushions anymore.
"What's going on?" the mother wondered aloud. The children shrugged their shoulders. Daisy wagged her tail.
Daisy is a little dog who has a big success when her family discovers she's learned how to read!
After realizing that dog hair is getting all over the furniture, Daisy's owners begin putting library books up on the sofas to keep Daisy firmly on the floor. But something unexpected happens when Daisy knocks the books off the sofa. Instead of jumping back onto the furniture, she begins to look at the books instead and learns, in her own way, to read.
Daisy's Biggest Success, by Harriet Zaidman, is a cute story about a family with a very clever pet. As Daisy learns to read, she begins to help her family around the house, advising them on where to plant tomatoes (by digging holes in the best spot in the garden and carrying the seeds there), and how to properly paint pictures (by dragging over books with illustrations to help ensure the colours are just right). This is a sweet story, and the happy conclusion, when Daisy gets her very own library card so she can check out whatever books she wants, will make readers smile with enjoyment. Certain aspects of the tale, such as the family's lining library books on the sofas to keep the dog off the furniture, and Daisy's learning to read quite well only by studying the pictures, may be a bit of a stretch for some to believe. But for those that can accept these features of the story, Daisy's triumphs are fun to experience.
The illustrations by Sarah Neville tell Daisy's story just as strongly as the text does, which is fitting, given that Daisy, herself, gets information from books based solely on the pictures. The illustrations often take up a considerable portion of the pages, making this story a good choice for reading aloud as there is a lot for the reader to look at while hearing Daisy's tale.
Daisy's Biggest Success is the story of one dog's unique ability to help her family by learning to read books. This will be an enjoyable read for those who are fans of dogs and for those who love reading just as much as Daisy does.
Meredith Cleversey is a librarian in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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