Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Review: Four Paws, Two Feet, One Team by Connor Quinn and Mary Cortani

 Today's book not only introduces young readers to the world of service dogs, but also takes a new twist. While I knew that there are various jobs service dogs fulfill, I wasn't aware of this organization nor of their valuable work with Veterans. So, I definitely learned something, too. But go ahead and discover it for yourself!

by Connor Quinn and 
Mary Cortani
Illustrated by Susan Szecsi
Mascot Books
Picture Book

Four Paws, Two Feet, One Team is a book about a rescue puppy named Dakota that grows up to become a service dog. Dakota is found in a field with his brothers and sisters and taken in by a woman named Mary Cortani, who runs an organization called Operation Freedom Paws. As Dakota grows up and dreams of becoming a service dog, he is eventually matched with a combat veteran suffering from PTSD. As they train together and bond, Dakota goes from being rescued to being the rescuer.

This book also has an educational portion to help teachers, parents, friends, and family help explain the different types of service dogs to children. In addition, proceeds from this book go to funding the real life Operation Freedom Paws that accomplishes similar stories like the one told in this book every day.


                                   * introduces readers to Operation Freedom Paws
                                   * lovely story and easy to understand
                                   * bright illustrations


With a sweet dog, lovely illustrations, and an easy to follow tale, this book introduces young listeners to the amazing work done by Operation Freedom Paws and develops awareness to those around them.

Dakota was left with his brothers and sisters behind in a field. Luckily, a farmer discovered them, took them in and gave them everything they needed. Since he couldn't keep the puppies, he contacted his friend at Operation Freedom Paws. Here, Dakota meets many new human friends and is trained to become a dog, who helps humans. 

This is a wonderful book to introduce young listeners to the world of service dogs. Dakota immediately wins over listeners' hearts as he's left by his parents, but it doesn't sit on any negativity. Rather, Dakota is taken in and experiences warmth, friendship, love and belonging. It's a perfect setting for young listeners. But it doesn't stop there. 

Dakota learns how to become a service dog. The author doesn't concentrate on his training but spends more time showing how Dakota gets to know and helps his human. While people often see service dogs as helping the handicapped or elderly, this one shows how the dogs also are used with veterans. By doing this, it also raises awareness about problems veterans might have due to their service. Plus, the other duties service dogs might have is also addressed, giving the listener a rounded impression of their valuable work.

The tale fits very well to the age group, and the text sticks to a level young listeners can understand. For anyone wanting to learn more, there is additional information at the end of the book.

Add the lovely illustrations, and it's an informative read for anyone wanting to dive deeper into the world of service dogs.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for beautiful review Tonja! We deeply appreciate the support for our mission and desire to teach children about the vital role service dogs play in empowering veterans, children and other individuals with disabilities. - Pam MacDougall, Operation Freedom Paws.