Code Word Courage

In September 1944 eleven-year-old Billie lives with her great aunt, Doff, eagerly waiting for her older brother Leo to return from boot camp, and desperate to find the father that left when she was little; but Leo brings a friend with him, a Navajo named Denny, and the injured dog they have rescued and named Bear–and when the two young men go off to war Bear becomes the thread that ties them all together, and helps Billie to find a true friend.

A Dog Named Haku

It’s the Festival of Lights in Nepal, and today is the day to honor dogs! Brothers Alu and Bhalu wander the streets of Kathmandu, passing by twirling kites and bamboo swings, looking for a dog to feed. But as night falls, their task begins to feel hopeless, until they spot a small black dog who is in need of a friend. This sweet story presents an important Hindu holiday through the eyes of two young boys, making it relatable for both those familiar with the holiday and those reading about it for the first time.

Paws And Edward

Espen Dekko’s gently heartbreaking and heart-lifting story hits the perfect note as it explores death in an accessible, child-friendly, and nonfrightening way. By writing from the dog’s perspective, Dekko makes it easier for children to understand and accept Paws’s decline and death. Beginning with Paws dreaming of chasing rabbits and ending with Edward dreaming of Paws chasing rabbits, the story has a circular structure that is satisfying and reassuring, as it conveys the boy’s acceptance of the loss of his beloved pet. Richly colored illustrations by Mari Kanstad Johnsen have a simultaneously retro and contemporary feel, perfectly highlighting the joy and love at the heart of this boy-dog relationship. This book is an excellent choice for any children or adults dealing with or talking about loss, or for lessons about the life cycle of living things.

Dingo

Dingo leaves her sleeping pups with her mate and lifts her head to smell the air. Dusk is a busy time — the time for hunting. Softly and fleetly she runs through the forest, past a possum, a wombat, and kangaroos in the gully below. Now she climbs to the highest point and sniffs again, locating the scent of rabbits in the wind. Interspersed with text offering facts for curious readers, Dingo is a lyrical foray into the life of these fascinating wild dogs.