MY OLD PAL, OSCAR
Illustrated by: Amy Bates
Published by: Abrams Books for young readers, New York 2016
Ages: 4 – 7 Years
Theme: Friendship, Loss, Grief, New beginnings
Opening Lines: Hello, you. Who are you? No tags? No name? You sure are little. Except for those feet. Those four big feet making footprints in the sand.
Synopsis: When a boy meets a stray puppy on the beach, he does not want to make a new friend. He still misses his old pal, Oscar, a beloved pet. When the cute little black and white puppy shadows him resisting the boy’s gentle rejections it begins to rain. The boy begins to open his heart to a new friend and makes peace with the past.
Why I like this: Oh my this is all heart. Tears welled up when reading this story. Simply told with a cute relatable voice this will be a story many will remember. Even though he tries to ignore the little puppy the boy is forced to cradle it during a rain storm and races to home and safety where he shares a picture of his beloved pet, Oscar. Who could resist this cute puppy with the adorable face. He looks so fuzzy and cuddly. Mischievous too! Amy Bates illustrations are cleverly done revealing life at the beach at a child’s eye level. This would be a lovely book for home and in the classroom encouraging discussions when looking at adding a pet in the family especially after the recent loss of a much loved pet.
Resources/Findings: This is a great little video of Amy Hest giving some writing tips on Characters….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gWkLr2oduk
Great tips from Amy for young writers…. https://www.amyhest.com/for-writers
Fun facts about Amy and more… https://www.amyhest.com/about
How to help your child with the loss of their pet…. https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/03/02/helping-your-child-grieve-the-loss-of-a-pet.aspx
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