Maria Wants a Dog

Brenda Akwar
Snowbird Manukiki Press (2021)
ISBN: 978-1-7778001-0-9
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning (Mom) and Lydia (age 7) for Reader Views Kids (12/21)

“Maria Wants a Dog” by Brenda Akwar is another story in her “Little Miss Maria’s World” series, written in English and French. Maria is excited about the fact that she is about to turn six years old! Maria is promised a pet dog on her birthday but isn’t sure which kind to choose. Maria knows lots of people who have dogs, and they are all different from the other. She knows a small dog that yaps a lot, a medium one with lots of energy, a farm dog that chases cattle, and a dog that wears a uniform. Maria must figure out what she likes and doesn’t and decide on the perfect dog for her pet.

I enjoyed reading this book to my younger kids because it has simple language; my daughter could read the English section perfectly. “Maria Wants a Dog” is a story that they can relate to, given that we have a pet as well. The story teaches problem-solving, with Maria gathering information that she already knows and then filtering it based on her preferences.

Being written in English and French it enhances readers’ experience by introducing other languages. There are diverse characteristics of animals in their variety of types and sizes. On the last page are four “pet ownership rules” that pertain to dog owners; these ensure that they know the right things to do in their role as masters. After reading “Maria Wants a Dog,” I’ll have to look into the “Little Miss Maria’s World” series for Maria’s other adventures!

Note from Lydia (age 7): I liked when my mom read me “Maria Wants a Dog” because I love animals, although particularly cats. If I were to get a new cat, I would feel like Maria and wonder about the same things that she did for her dog (except for the yapping). I like that I can read this book (except for the part in French), and I could understand it all. The story is shorter than other ones I’ve read, but it was still okay for when I would read it, so I wouldn’t have a super long story. I liked looking at the pictures because they are bright and colorful and show lots of cute-looking puppies on every page!

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