Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty!
Lisa Dunn-Dern
Visikid Books (2007)
ISBN 9781933156200
Reviewed by Nicholas Lopez (age 5) and Leslie Granier for Reader Views (1/08)

“Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty!” tells the story of a very special family.  Everyone, including the pets, has an important job and each is capable of doing something to help others.  For example, the father is an attorney who helps his clients and the mother writes children’s books.  The bird even contributes by cleaning her cage.  But at the heart of the story is Duncan, a dog that was rescued from a shelter and has become a volunteer at a hospital, passing on the love he receives from his family to the sick children.

Nicholas thought it was really cool that the kids got to play with the dog in the hospital.  He enjoyed the pictures, which were very colorful and detailed.  He laughed at the picture of the bird sweeping out her cage.  He also thought it was funny when Duncan went to visit a grandma who fell off her skateboard.  Although the book contains many light-hearted moments, it also provided an excellent opportunity to discuss more serious things with him, such as that some kids have to spend time away from home because they are sick.

This book will appeal to children between the ages of four and eight.  It will be especially helpful for kids who have friends or siblings who have serious illnesses and often spend time in the hospital.  The main focus of this book is that everyone plays an important role in the family and that each of them can do something to help others.  After reading “Dr. Duncan Dog on Duty!” children will be interested in figuring out what their roles are in their families.  This will be a great time to help them think of ways they can serve others.

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