My Dog, Hen, by David Mackintosh, (Oct. 2022, Prestel Junior), $16.95, ISBN: 9783791375359
A boy and his family adopt a new pet and discover the fun – and the pandemonium – that a new puppy can bring. The family brings the Hen, a mixed breed dog, home and sets about making him as comfortable as possible, but all Hen wants to do is chew on everything: furniture, his bed and toys, even the “indestructible” toys that the boy buys from the pet store. Grandma arrives and sews a toy that even Hen can’t destroy, leading to a conversation about what’s considered disposable, from Dad’s mended socks to Hen himself: “Why should we get a brand new dog when Hen is as good as new to us?” “Why get new socks if Gran can make old ones as good as new?” High-contrast artwork incorporates negative space to make a visually interesting story, and Mackintosh’s simple and to-the-point storytelling, narrated by a child, delivers a thought-provoking message about the throwaway society we are turning around. A good purchase for storytime collections. Pair with Cary Fagan’s Little Blue Chair for a storytime with a message; encourage kids to craft with materials from other projects, whether they be scraps of fabric, old socks, and scraps of paper from previous projects.