Title: Bentley and the Magic Sticks | Author: Claire Eckard | Illustrator: Ann York | Publisher: Mill City Press | Publication Date: April 2021
Book Description: Bentley and the Magic Sticks follows this extra-large canine as he finds out that his favorite sticks have magical powers, thanks to a wonderful Fairy Dogmother called Tia! Because other dogs are afraid of his large size Bentley has no one to play with. However, with his magic sticks he manages to make new friends and he also discovers the special secret of why he is so big.
My Thoughts: Bentley is a big dog. Even though he’s a sweet, gentle and fun-loving dog who only wants to play, the other dogs are afraid of him simply due to his size. Thanks to his fairy dogmother and some magic sticks, Bentley might just find the companionship he longs for.
Growing up with dogs, often large dogs, I’ve always had a soft spot for big breeds. But I’ve also seen how nervous children (and sometimes even adults) can be in their presence. So I loved that this book tackled the issue but from the other perspective — how a kind-hearted dog who just happens to be big can also feel left out. It’s a lovely message for children to think about from both their own and another’s perspective — how differences can’t automatically be associated with a personality trait. But regardless of an underlying message, this is a fun story with lots of wonderful characters — a fairy dog mother (ha!) — and a lovable protagonist at its heart.
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Cute book cover!
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