Good Rosie!

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Good Rosie! Book Poster Image
Lonely dog makes friends in relatable picture book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

It's mostly a story about cute dogs, but story and illustrations sneak in occasional reference to things that could interest grown-ups, including book about Proust, another by Stephen King (Cujo, misspelled Kujo, which is Not For Kids). George thinks clouds look like presidents, especially Abraham Lincoln.

Positive Messages

Strong messages of friends being lots of fun, of how to go about making friends yourself, which work whether you're a dog or a kid.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rosie's a bit shy, insecure but also has good instincts, knowing what to do in a crisis, being able to smooth things over afterward. Big dog Maurice is well-meaning but clueless; little dog Fifi is well-meaning but perhaps annoyingly bouncy. They  build a great friendship. Among humans (mostly in background), Rosie's person, George, shows kindness, wisdom, seems a nice, comfortable person. People and dogs are shown as good companions having fun together. People model good behavior by supervising their dogs.

Violence & Scariness

In one scene, Maurice, a very big dog, picks up Fifi, a very little dog, in his mouth and proceeds to shake her like a rag doll until Rosie bites his leg to get him to stop. Everyone's fine and it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship all around, but sensitive kids may be a bit alarmed -- just like the dogs' humans are.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kate DiCamillo's picture book Good Rosie!, illustrated by Harry Bliss, is an endearing story about dogs making friends. It's pretty likely to be a hit with early readers, especially those who already love dogs, but it's also a great read-aloud choice with highly detailed, appealing illustrations that help tell the story. Kids facing new social scenes (such as preschool or school) will find it easy to relate to little terrier Rosie, who'd like to have a friend but is overwhelmed and scared by all the dogs she doesn't know at the dog park. There's a definite teachable moment about rough play as Maurice, a large but clueless dog, "plays" with tiny Fifi by shaking her like a rag doll, and Rosie has to bite his leg to make him stop. All ends well and the three become BFFs, with much better understanding.

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What's the story?

Little dog Rosie lives happily with her human, George, who frequently calls her GOOD ROSIE! He eventually figures out she's lonely for dog friends, and takes her to the dog park. At first she doesn't like the other dogs and just wants to go home. Things are scary at first, but soon she, big dog Maurice, and tiny dog Fifi figure out ways to get past their differences and have fun.

Is it any good?

Kate DiCamillo's light, humorous touch and Harry Bliss's lively character illustrations make this tale of a little terrier's first trip to the dog park a great story. And it's a natural for kids facing new group situations, such as starting preschool or kindergarten. There's a lot to love in Good Rosie!, especially about friend-making skills and the fact that rough play may not be for everyone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dog park in Good Rosie! How does it compare to dog parks you've seen? Why do dogs have such fun there? Do they need to run around to be happy? 

  • When you first met the people who are your friends now, did you get along right away? Or were there some awkward moments like Rosie and her friends have in the story?

  • What kinds of things are better to do with friends?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love books about animals and friendship

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