BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Patrice Barton [in Shelf Awareness]

“There was nothing Moose loved more than hello,” especially greetings from her human, Zara. But dogs aren’t allowed at Zara’s school and “There was nothing Moose disliked more than goodbye.” Smart pup that she is, for every “goodbye,” Moose finds a way to say “hello”: she zooms out the door to Mrs. Perkins’s classroom for story time (“Moose …  loves story time”), she chews through the backyard rope to sneak into Mrs. Chen’s library hour, and she even manages a cafeteria dash for homemade cookies and a Zara-read book. Getting Moose to “goodbye” – and go home for good – becomes an all-school chase. And then Zara has an idea: therapy dog school. Moose gets tested and certified, becoming the “Class Reading Dog.” Hello Goodbye Dog Moose is now the school’s official Hello Goodbye Dog.

Author Maria Gianferrari and artist Patrice Barton are clearly dog people; both highlight canine family members in their back flap bios. That pooch-love is evident throughout: Gianferrari’s clever text perfectly embodies Moose’s mournful “AAAA-WOOO”s over “Goodbye was tag without an ‘It.’/ Goodbye was tug and no war./ Goodbye was hide without seek,” while Barton’s whimsically energetic drawings showcase Moose’s delighted devotion to Zara, her mischievous plotting toward her next hello, and her rapt attention to reading.

As mirthful and charming as the story is, even more notable is the easy diversity playing out on every page. Zara’s mobility is enabled by her wheelchair; Mom is African American; and the students and adults-in-charge represent multiple ethnicities. Effortlessly inclusive, Gianferrari and Barton’s creative Hello Goodbye Dog becomes an inviting mirror or window for any child, welcoming every reader in.

Discover: Hello Goodbye Dog Moose loses the “goodbye” when her human Zara takes her to therapy dog school, making Moose the official “Class Reading Dog.”

Review: “Children’s & Young Adult,” Shelf Awareness, July 25, 2017

Readers: Children

Published: 2017


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