Berkeley Breathed’s picture book Flawed Dogs is so good, it deserves to be framed. But don’t, because you’ll want to reread it until its pages are ragged and taped with adoration.
In a “letter” from Breathed, we learn that Heidy Strudelberg became swept up with dog showing until meeting a three-legged dog named Sam the Lion. Minutes later, she retired to Piddleton, Vermont to transform a crumbling grain elevator in into the Last Chance Dog Pound. She also created a catalog for your consideration of the pound’s very available leftovers. The letter is in such small print that younger readers will probably skip it but, that’s okay, because the heart of this story lies in Heidy’s gallery of champions.
On each new two-page spread, you’ll find a portrait of one of the pound’s dogs, along with a biography told in quick verse. The dogs are so ugly they’re adorable and will have you searching for their counterparts at your local pound. Even their stories confessing their faults are so cute that you’ll still want to adopt them. For example, there is Bipsie. She sits grinning on a royal red couch. “A beauty in blues with some parts chartreuse, she clashed with the whole bloody place”. Then there is cute little Heather who fits in her owner’s hand and has so much hair her owner doubted “whether any of Heather was there”.
While it’s unlikely you’ll find the heroes of Flawed Dogs at your local shelter, you will find other equally lovable dogs who just as badly need a home. Check out Breathed’s book and your local pound.
My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.
Américas Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature
CLASP founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. It was established by in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie.
The Christy Awards are awarded each year to recognize novels of excellence written from a Christian worldview.
Coretta Scott King Award
The Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples. It is given to African American authors and illustrator.
children and young adult blogger literacy awards
Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award
The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award was initiated in 2000 to recognize authors, illustrators, and publishers of high quality fictional and biographical children, intermediate, and young adult books that appropriately portray individuals with deve
Hans Christian Anderson Award
The Hans Christian Andersen Awards is given to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature. The award is the highest international recognition an author can receive.
Kate Greenaway Medal
The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955, for distinguished illustration in a book for children. It is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children’s illustrations and designs.
Middle East Book Award
The Middle East Book Award recognizes quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures.
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award
Honors fantasy books for younger readers, in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia
Newbery Medal Award
The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Pura Belpré Award
The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. It is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino experience.
Red House Book Award
The Red House Children’s Book Award is a series of literary prizes for works of children’s literature published during the previous year in England.
Sydney Taylor Award
The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.