Thursday, March 7, 2019

Moose! The Reading Dog - Book Review

Moose! The Reading Dog
As Finn and I embarked on our journey to become a registered therapy dog team, we sought to learn as much as possible from local dog celebrity, Moose, and his Pet Partners handler, Dr. Laura Bruneau.  One of the first things I did was to read their recently published book entitled Moose! The Reading Dog.  The review that follows is written primarily through my teacher lens, though it is also shaped by my passions for reading and animal rescue.

I first came across Moose's book at the Alamosa Public Library where I was looking for reading material to use in future animal-assisted interactions with elementary-aged children.  As a teacher who loves to read with primary students, I was delighted to discover that Moose's story fit right in the sweet spot of that target group.

Photo of Moose Used With Permission
One of the things that sets this book apart is that Moose tells his own story.  That first-dog perspective is appealing to young readers.  Over the course of six chapterettes, Moose reveals what makes him the extraordinary dog that he is.  We learn how his life started out on a ranch (Chapter 1 - About Me), how he ended up in an animal shelter (Chapter 2 - The Shelter), what it was like to be adopted by a new family (Chapter 3 - My New Home), how he began to change his behavior (Chapter 4 - Learning the Rules), the process of finding a job for his unique gifts (Chapter 5 - Getting Ready to Work), and, finally, helping children enjoy reading (Chapter 6 - I am a Reading Dog).

It is so easy to fall in love with Moose.  My favorite illustrations in the book, as designed by Mic Ru, were those of this gentle giant (a 115-pound Saint Bernard mix).  There was a sweet, friendly, and very huggable quality that flowed through the depictions of Moose.  You could feel his great goodness.

As one who has always been very selective about the books I place in the hands of impressionable young children, Moose! The Reading Dog has earned my seal of approval for:
  • being a book with the kind of positive messages that empower young people;
  • presenting the kind of transformations that change lives for the good;
  • offering up encouragement to children, and all of us really, about being true to whatever it is that frees us up to be our best, and to make it possible for others to become the best version of themselves.
I plan to purchase multiple copies of this book to share with other teachers and to gift to the children in my life.  Finn and I give this book a rating of five paws up for inspiring us to move forward with our dream.  We believe Moose will also inspire you to be true to what makes you authentically you.  And the world needs that—you being beautifully you.

Reviewer's Note:  This review is the second in a series focused on therapy dog teams.  You can read my first installment by clicking the following link (Becoming a Pet Partners Therapy Dog Team).








Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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17 comments:

  1. Moose sounds like a wonderful and sweet dog. I have no doubt this is a great book for children, and as you said, a great book for all of us. I love that picture of Moose. He really does look like a very loving and kind dog.

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    1. Moose is a best friend to so many children. He gives them what they need (unconditional acceptance, complete attention, and confidence-building affirmations). Dogs always get it right. I'm so thankful that Moose was given a second chance so that he could be the best reading buddy anyone could ever have.

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  2. I can already imagine how delightful children will find this story, narrated from Moose's 'first-dog' perspective. Children relate so well to animals, which is why I believe therapy dog teams are so important. Thank you for this charming book review. I can't wait to 'meet' Moose through his story.

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    1. Therapy dogs are the very best medicine. They have this deep sense of who needs what on any given day (and they act on that sense with just the right touch). Children respond to Moose because they also have the kind of radar that picks up on genuine kindness and affection. It's a win-win bond.

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  3. This sounds like the perfect book for therapy dog team humans, teachers, children and anyone else who wants an uplifting, real-life story. I know how special it has been to follow your and Finn’s extraordinary journey. I’m sure readers will enjoy following that of Moose and his partner.

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    1. And don't we all need an extra dose of uplifting reality at this time? I like to focus on all that is good, and true, and inspiring, and beautiful. The world of therapy dogs is filled with all that is lovely, kind, and compassionate. I love living in Moose's world.

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  4. Oh my goodness, this sounds like such a wonderful book. It's funny but my son's nickname is Moose, and he loves to read too. Guess if Grands come from him to us, this will definitely be a book that I will purchase. Thanks Diana, I love great books for kids and this sounds like one of them. I mean, how can you go wrong with a five paws up classification!

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    1. Maybe if you put this book into a hope chest now, your wish will come true for that grandchild. :-) I love that your son's nickname is Moose.

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  5. Renaissance Woman, I've admired you for many years for your care and concern for animals. Your review of this book is just the thing for children, to not only learn how important reading is, but also learning about animals and their feelings. I have a few great-grandkids who could benefit from it in both ways. Thanks for the review! :)

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    1. Thank you for your lovely affirmation. It means a great deal coming from you. I do hope your Great Grands get to meet Moose in the pages of his book. So good to see you here.

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  6. What an awesome review! You and Finn have the biggest hearts and I'm excited that you will be doing this program with the young kids. I really miss working with the young kids sometimes. It's good to know Moose's book.

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    1. There is something really special about reading to, and with, young children. Yesterday, I visited a preschool story hour at the public library. The utter delight, expressed in giggles, of the participants was such a joy to behold. They remind us to revel in the simplest of things.

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  7. Definitely on my list to read! love the perspective from the dogs'voice. Becoming a therapy team is on my bucket list.

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    1. How wonderful! I am excited for you. If we can be of any assistance along your therapy dog team journey, please don't hesitate to call on us. It is so worth doing. Pet Partners is an organization that accepts many different types of therapy animals. You may wish to check them out. https://petpartners.org

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  8. Such an excellent gift for kids. A great learning experience to read from the dogs perspective as well. My son rescues dogs and he's so good at training them as well. He's the alpha dog no doubt lol. I'll add this my gift ideas board.

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    1. That your son rescues, trains, and cares for dogs tells me all I need to know about how he was raised. You done good, mom. Compassion is such a beautiful legacy.

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  9. Sounds like a wonderful story. Way to go Moose. And way to go Finn! We have a therapy dog (Carmen) at my work for our special needs children. She has such a powerfully positive impact in their lives. Thanks for sharing.

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