Mogie: The Heart of the House – Kathi Appelt

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  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD470L
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442480548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442480544

EXCERPT from Booklist Online:
Mogie, a labradoodle with a trademarked name who lives at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston, has his story fictionally told by a Newbery Honor Book author and a cartoon-style illustrator. Into a “very special house” wanders this “ball-chasing, tail-wagging, moon-howling pup” who, while seemingly not cut out for other canine careers, bonds instantly with Gage, a representative blond-haired boy at the house who has lost his “mojo.” The two become fast friends, and once Gage finally recovers from his unstated illness and moves out, Mogie turns his affection to Antonia, who has lost her “cha-cha-cha.” The appended author’s note tells of Appelt’s own bonding with Mogie and his role at the Ronald McDonald House, the mission of which is only vaguely alluded to except for on the flap copy. The lightly colored pencil, charcoal, and digital drawings are appropriately upbeat, and admirers of working animal stories and simplified issue books, as well as dog lovers in general, will appreciate Mogie’s gently told and optimistic tale.

Rationale for Inclusion: 
Early readers will love this story about Mogie the dog. This book gently introduces difficult to address themes like cancer, terminal illness, and leukemia. Compassion and kindness for ill children are fostered by Mogie and this charming story.

Hear Mogie: The Heart of the House read aloud.

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