Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Board Book


Fall 2007 Board Book
Ages: Infant
Author: Emma Chichester Clark
Distributor: Eerdmans
ISBN: 9780802853141
Hardcover Price: $17.00
Piper's mother, like all good parents, gave her young pup some sound words of advice: about being helpful, for example, and the importance of looking both ways before you cross the street. The canine hero of Emma Chichester Clark's new picture book takes his mother's words to heart, eventually saving the life of a kind old woman. But before their paths cross in that fateful moment, Piper is subjected to the cruelty of his owner. At times, Piper reads like a Black Beauty for dogs; like the horse from that classic novel, Piper has a series of adventures that lead him to humans both good and bad. The young children that this book is intended for may be sensitive to Piper's mistreatment (he is beaten with a stick and tied up without food), but rest assured there is a happy ending. Clark's watercolor illustrations tell the tale without being too graphic, and her color palette reflects Piper's situation, using vivid hues when he's happy, and somber shades when life is bleak. All in all, this is a good choice to read to a dog-loving child.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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