Sunday, August 8, 2010
Dingle: The Very Helpful Ice Cream Cone Delivery Dog
Author: Audrey Kinsella
Publisher: Author House
Aunt Reeny is disabled and in a wheel chair. She agrees that service dogs are helpful, but just aren’t for her. She can already do everything she needs, it just takes time. Dingle, the family dog wants to help! When an idea comes to him, he starts on the path to being a helpful dog. With Help from his friend, he gathers all the tools he will need. Soon Roddy, Aunt Reeny’s nephew, discovers Dingles plan and starts helping Dingle with his secret surprise. The day finally comes when Dingle can help Aunt Reeny and the family! It is a hot day and the family goes out for ice cream. The line is long and Aunt Reeny is tired and hot. Dingle surprised everyone by bringing ice cream in the pouches he carries. Dingle has become the helpful ice cream cone delivery dog.
What my daughter had to say: (age 4)
“It is kinda funny because it was a doggy who wanted stuff to help. He delivered ice cream. That’s funny.”
I really enjoyed the moral of this story. The author portrays Aunt Reeny as a woman who can still do things on her own, it just takes more time. Her family helps, but Dingle wants to help also. He doesn’t want just pats and the comment “good dog”. The story is about persistence, planning and being helpful which makes a great lesson for any child. While I really liked the story itself, I didn’t like the set up and delivery of the story. It is not set up in a fashion that is easy for younger kids to understand. The sentence structure is more of a thought rather than a complete sentence. While I feel that “bubble” thoughts are not great for kid’s books, the author does a good job of putting all the thoughts into the sentences also. The problem is the sentence structure is awkward. They read like staggered thoughts instead of complete thoughts. For example, instead of using phrases like “Aunt Reeny said” or “Dingle thought” the individual speaking or thinking just states a thought or part of a thought and the difference between individuals speaking is signaled by a change in font color. For younger children this set up does not work. They aren’t able to understand a color change as they are not reading it, so the reader must add lib to the child know who is speaking. It wasn’t a very enjoyable format to read, even though I understood it. As a result I would suggest this book for kids ages 7 – 10 who would better understand who is speaking based on pictures with “bubble” thoughts and the shift in font color. I would suggest the book for ages 3-7 based on the subject matter and interest level.
Dingle the Very Helpful Ice Cream Cone Delivery Dog is a short book full of potential. It teaches a wonderful lesson while approaching the subject of disabilities, something almost everyone is affected by whether on their own or because of a family member or friend. It is hard to pin point a target audience with this book, but was worth the read. I was able to discuss the book with my daughter and she did enjoy the dog delivering the ice-cream!
*Reviewed for Bookpleasures*