As the official dog of the Charles Town Library, I have the wonderful job of being able to recommend stories that showcase the wonder and creativity of our animal friends, mostly dogs, of course. Please let me know if you have any favorite books that I should read and write about. And yes, if it is about those other types of animals, not dogs, I will still consider them. Even cats, I guess.
My first recommendation is:
Paolo, Emperor of Rome
Written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Claire Keane
Published by Abrams.
As a poodle of the French variety, I rarely venture as far as Italy for my story books.
But, WOWSER, did I find a great book for you! It is all about this super little dog and his adventures in Rome, a big city in Italy.
The name of the book is, Paolo, Emperor of Rome, and it was written by Mac Barnett and the super cool pictures were drawn by Claire Keane. An Emperor is like a king, but from the olden days.
It follows the wild days of Paolo, after he escapes from a terrible human and then finds one crazy thing after another as he wanders around the city. You will LOVE it, even though it is not about a poodle, or me.
The drawings have great colors. It would be fun to try and copy these pictures on your own. I would, but it’s that old thumb thing, I don’t have anyway.
Spoiler alert: even though Paolo goes through a lot of troubles, the book has a happy ending. That’s like when you have a really bad day and then at bedtime, you get a hug and maybe a treat. An old dog once told me about there being light at the end of the tunnel, but I have never been in a tunnel. I think I know what he means, though. Even at night, it gets dark, but in the morning, the sun comes out again and you can start over.
NOTE FOR PARENTS OR OTHER BIG PEOPLE: There are some bigger words to explain as you read to the younger kids and some parts may have to be explained a little, such as the Coliseum, but it is a beautifully illustrated book and an exciting story as well.
ANOTHER NOTE FOR ADULTS: The illustrator, Claire Keane, worked for Disney animation for a number of years and worked on some famous movies, AND her father, Glen, did as well, AND, her grandfather drew The Family Circus comic strip with all those dotted lines that showed where the little kids had traveled.