Summer Reading with a Four-Legged Community Helper: Madeline Finn and Star Are Back!
Need a few more four-legged friends on your summer reading list? Everyone’s favorite community helper duo is back, and this time Madeline Finn and her therapy dog-in-training are spreading the joy of reading at a local retirement home.
Madeline Finn and Star are off to Walker Oaks, a retirement community where Star will take his tests to become a therapy dog! They’ve been practicing meeting new people (and other dogs, too) and sitting still when a bike goes by. Star does a wonderful job with a variety of challenges, and everyone at the retirement community welcomes him with open arms. Everyone except a man sitting in a wheelchair who doesn’t speak and never smiles. Is there anything Madeline Finn and Star can do to help?
This touching installment in the Madeline Finn collection from author-illustrator Lisa Papp offers an adorable introduction to the therapy dog training process and a realistic, appealing example of a young person making a difference. Paired with warm, gentle illustrations, this beautiful story of empathy, perseverance, and community is ideal for social emotional learning-themed summer reading and discussions about self-esteem, volunteering, and—of course—therapy animals.
Get to know author-illustrator Lisa Papp in this Q&A.
“A beautifully designed introduction to the lives of therapy dogs and how much work goes into becoming one. A backdrop of warm tan surrounds each image; this, coupled with soft purples, blues, and greens, lends a sense of familiarity and comfort to the story. Pencil lines and watercolor enhance this feeling, nonverbally communicating the effect a therapy dog has on the people he meets…. This intergenerational story of love and acceptance is an important addition to library collections for young elementary-aged readers.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“Charming, soft-focus illustrations provide extra details and capture the personalities of the determined child and irresistible dogs…. This touching story stands on its own, but fans of Madeline’s previous outings will particularly enjoy reading this account that ties all the previous tales together. A gentle, heartwarming introduction to the world of therapy dogs.” —Kirkus Reviews