Book Review: Unlovable

kp_ill_unlovable.gifA story as cute as its title character
Title: Unlovable
Author: Dan Yaccarino
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Picture book; Ages 3-7

I love dogs, so it's no surprise to me that I loved Unlovable. But even if your kids aren't crazy for canines, Unlovable will warm their hearts to Alfred the pug. This touching story keeps readers in suspense while we wait for a turn of events in Alfred's life.

Alfred thinks that he's unlovable because the other animals don't like him. He deals with daily taunts from the cat and parrot. Neighborhood dogs don't think little Alfred can amount to much, so Alfred isn't welcome in their circle, either. Later, a new dog named Rex moves in next door and Alfred strikes up a friendship with him. The problem is, Alfred tells Rex he's a golden retriever! After trying to hide his identity from his friend, Alfred is forced to show his true self. Finally, Alfred realizes that he doesn't care what anyone else thinks -- he's lovable just the way he is. This story is a heartwarming lesson in self-confidence and friendship for young children.

Yaccarino creates simple, bright images. Alfred is the epitome of adorable with his round (mostly sad) face, dark eyes, and tiny tail. Readers will easily understand his emotions by the look on his face -- which draws us to him even more. Yaccarino wants us to love Alfred -- and your kids will.

Ways to talk about this story with your kids
1. What do you think makes Alfred so unhappy at the beginning of the story?

2. Why don't the other animals like Alfred?

3. Why is Alfred happy at the end of the story?

4. What do you think makes Alfred lovable?

5. What are some things that make you lovable?

Certain things about us set us apart from everyone else. Children recognize these differences, and react to them in various ways. By teaching your child to feel good about her own unique qualities and characteristics, she will grow to be more accepting of others.

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