Good Rosie by Kate DiCamillo

cover image

Ill. by Harry Bliss. Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406383577
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Dogs. Responsibility. Family. Companionship. Divided into nine chapters, this comic styled story tells of Rosie the dog who lives with George. Each morning, George cooks himself two eggs and gives Rosie her food in her silver bowl. But once finished Rosie can see another dog at the bottom of the bowl, and realises that she is lonely. In chapter two George and Rosie go for their usual walk in the woods, watching the shapes made by the clouds. When George points out a dog-like shape, Rosie becomes excited and George has an idea. The next chapter sees George take Rosie to a dog park. Here Rosie is somewhat overwhelmed with the number of dogs and one in particular who comes up to her is much larger and has a toy in its mouth which it shakes with gusto. In chapter four a smaller dog drops by, but this dog is a livewire and jumps rapidly from one spot to another, so putting Rosie off. The next chapter sees the larger dog shaking the smaller one in its mouth and in chapter six, Rosie tackles the larger dog, warning it to drop the little dog, which it does in chapter seven, and the last two chapters see the problem resolved and the three meet regularly at the dog park for companionship and play. Even George gets to make new friends.
A seemingly simple tale of friendship, the story has the trio not liking each other at first, but when an incident occurs from a misunderstanding, Rosie stands up for the little dog, resolving the issue and so making friends. It resonates with the problems of young children making friends, of being understanding, of resolving issues with other children and coming to a mutual understanding. The positive flow of the story will appeal to younger readers who will see it as a dog story but with overtones of their own attempts to make friends.
The illustrations are simply adorable and highly appealing to any reader who picks up the book, while the expressions on the dogs' faces are wonderful.
Fran Knight