THE ADVENTURES OF GUNNER THE POODLE PONY
Gunner Meets Stella
by Lynne McGlothlen
Illustrated by David Gnass
ages 4 to8
Gunner is a special poodle. He’s what you might call “amazing,” even! Gunner can do all kinds of tricks, but his most important job is to help others when they are sick or sad. When Stella’s grandmother is sick in Hospice, Gunner is there to comfort her.
GET IT DIRECTLY FROM MASCOT BOOKS HERE!
Gunner isn't any poodle; he's a specially trained therapy dog...and an extra-special one, at that. Not only can Gunner do flips and tricks, which guarantee to fetch smiles, but he can speak too. Gunner uses his special abilities to cheer patients and their families up, when they are facing tough times. When he meets Stella in the hospice, he gives his best to comfort her, too.
It's fun to note that Gunner is based on the author's own therapy poodle, who enjoys performing his tricks to bring cheer and comfort to hospitals, hospices and anywhere else he's needed. And this love radiates from every page.
Gunner is quite the dog, and his tricks and wonderful attitude are an inspiration. Young readers learn not only about the job of therapy dogs in these pages, but also more about Standard poodles. The fact that Gunner speaks caught me a little off guard, but it adds a nice dab of fantasy to the otherwise serious situations.
Despite the fun and humor Gunner brings with him, the book hits upon more difficult topics such as hospice visits and loved ones, who are passing away. The author hits these themes with care and gently shows that it's important to hold on to the good memories and cherish them. By keeping Gunner at the center-point, the tale maintains the necessary gentleness that such topics need to keep them from becoming overwhelming while still bringing across messages of encouragement, hope and love
It's a lovely book for young readers who are either facing similar situations themselves or for those, who simply have a love for dogs. At the end of the book, there are several facts about Standard Poodles and other details of the story, adding a lovely swing of more information.