“Cara’s sadness is palpable, and her descriptions of the setting are moving….The heart of this story is whether or not Cara will be reunited with Mike, if he’s survived the wildfire. It’s is also a story about the meaning of home….These varied ways of thinking about home are key to Cara and her community’s survival.”
“This book is part of a series of picture books featuring the young boy Ben. Ben has two older siblings: a sister, Robin; and a brother, Joe. He is at first interested when he sees a new family moving in across the street, especially when he sees a child his own age. But when he sees their dog, he isn’t as interested….
I loved the drawings here. They really made the story come to life. And the story is a nice one, especially if you have a youngster who has some fears of dogs. This book could help.”
“A wonderfully entertaining picture book with an important underlying message for children ages 3 to 6, Ben and the Scaredy-Dog is an especially recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”
“After I started reading about Max and Erv, I really liked the story….It’s a cute story that reminds us that no matter your size, we all have things we might be afraid of, but we should give things a chance.” —Safiya, Age 9
“I thought this book was cute. I liked the ending. All the illustrations were made with clay and paint. I thought that was neat. The art was my favorite part. The book is not that scary for little kids. People who like animals will like this book. It would be interesting to live in a place where the sun never sets.
Children will love the story of Juno as Sun Dog, not least of which because she is an adorable dog, thanks to Suzanne Del Rizzo’s elaborate and emotive dimensional art. But I think that Deborah Kerbel’s message that ‘Juno might be little, but there’s a big dog inside her’ is a meaningful one for young children who often feel too little to do anything significant and wish to be big so they can stay up late or go somewhere alone or just not be hindered by their youth or size…
The joy of being outside and the beauty of the Arctic landscape are beautifully conveyed through Suzanne Del Rizzo’s artwork. I’ve oohed and aahed over her polymer clay and acrylic paint art that graced her own My Beautiful Birds and other picture books and Sun Dog is no exception. Those summer skies of yellow, pink, purple, and blue, with many shades in between, took me to that land of the midnight sun and the home of children who rarely saw themselves in books. Within that landscape, Suzanne Del Rizzo brought playfulness and charm, with the reality necessary to tell Deborah Kerbel’s sweet story.
It’s lovely for me to review books by creators like Deborah Kerbel and Suzanne Del Rizzo whose work I’ve seen transform and evolve with each imaginative work. Now, with their collaboration, a charming story has been synthesized from message and art into the brilliant and heart-warming combination that is Sun Dog.”
“Having spent a good part of the summer here listening to reports of the destruction caused by wildfires on the west coast of Canada and the United States, this book is an excellent way to get kids thinking about the dire consequences of such events in peoples’ lives. It is a moving account of the terror and anguish felt by those who live where those fires rage….
The tense telling will keep readers intent on reading (or hearing) more. While there are bright spots along the way, Cara and her family are faced with uncertainty, fear, and a hope for a return to their community. When they finally get the okay to go back, they are faced with the tragic and uplifting results of the catastrophe. To say much has changed is an understatement. Cara, who has been reflecting on the meaning of ‘house’ and ‘home’, discovers they are distinctly different things.”
“Having just spent the summer breathing in the smoke blanketing the entire province of BC, with fires burning close enough to my home that I packed up photos and essentials in preparation for evacuation, this story really resonated. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down and I’m pretty sure I didn’t take a full, deep breath until I finished. Luckily as a novel in verse, it’s a pretty quick read….
Missing Mike is filled with the kindness of strangers which gives the book hope. The conclusion is a satisfying mix of reality and happy ending….I loved this book because it placed my fears into a story of survival and resilience where the main character discovers what home really means.”
“Canadian author Shari Green has penned a timely novel in verse with a dramatic and emotional account of a wildfire and the impact on a family and their community….Middle school readers will enjoy the accessible, lyrical text of this poignant story about human-animal bonds, family dynamics, and strength in the face of adversity, and will appreciate being left with an optimistic ending and a new definition of ‘home.’”