A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.