Boo loves books by Kaye Baillie

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Illus. by Tracie Grimwood. New Frontier, 2020. ISBN: 9781922326027.
Recommended. Boo loves books is the most adorable story. It follows a little girl called Phoebe who does not like to read. Her teacher tries to encourage her but reading just makes her feel extremely anxious as she does not want to get anything wrong.
One day, her teacher Mrs Spinelli announces that they will be reading somewhere different tomorrow. Phoebe is even more worried! Her mum tries to reassure her, but this feeling will not go away. What happens next is just so lovely. The class goes to the animal shelter and they all are given a dog to read to. With the teacher's help, the once timid reader finds her voice and reads confidently to her dog pal Big Boo, realising that everyone gets scared sometimes.
This book would be great for a young reluctant reader. It could show them that they are not alone and that things will get better. I love the idea of reading to an animal, and this could be used as an introduction to this very idea - or even reading to a favourite soft toy.
I read this book to my 6 year old reasonably reluctant reader, and she thought that reading to our dog Sargent would be an awesome idea (if only he would keep still . . . but we are working on that!). She really liked the pictures (and so did I, the facial expressions are so accurate) and wanted to read the book again the next night. This book is a must for any school library, so when new and reluctant readers are identified this could be used as a strategy for engagement and as an idea to send home to families. Teacher's notes are available. 4 out of 5!
Lauren Fountain