Affection and an upbeat attitude shine through Andrea Charles’ picture book based on her own dog. Titled Harvey’s Favorite Day: The Adventures of a Rottweiler Pup, the story is told from the point of view of the dog, taking Harvey from the tumble and warmth of nursing with eight puppy siblings to meeting, moving in with, and getting to know and like his kind new master.
As Harvey enjoys each aspect of his day, the author allows him to think or say that it is his “favorite time of day.” The refrain makes this a fun read-aloud book and underlines the theme that trying new things can be a positive experience. In fact, the refrain is such a memorable part of the book that the author might have chosen the full phrase for the title (Harvey’s Favorite Time of Day).
The depiction of a dog’s daily routine – breakfast, playtime, naptime – and the surprising developments of the day as Harvey is adopted by his new owner are nicely chosen, and the cartoonish, brightly colored illustrations are charming and will tempt children to count the many puppies, their bowls and the like.
On the down side, the book is in need of a copy edit for frequent mistreatment of quotes when indicating dialogue and other minor errors. There is also one moment when Harvey says, “Having my own bed is my favorite time of day!” Technically, the idea of “having my own bed” doesn’t indicate a time of day and should be tweaked along the lines of, “Bedtime is my favorite time of day!”
Nevertheless, Harvey’s Favorite Day has real appeal. It’s a particularly good choice for children whose families are about to adopt a new dog, but its message of greeting big changes with joy makes this an appropriate pick for all young children, whether they have pets or not.
Also available as an ebook.