Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio; illustrated by Christian Robinson (2014)

What I particularly love about this book, is the way it lends itself to such fun out-loud reading.

“Mrs. Poodle admired her new puppies. Fi-fi, Foo-foo, Ooh-La-la and… (imagine a kind of “what on earth?” sound effect here) Gaston.

Initially I wondered if Gaston was in fact a rabbit (humble apologies to Christian Robinson) but nope, he fits in the realm of the canine, just not poodle-style.

His siblings do very well in their walking, eating and yipping lessons, and in spite of trying very hard, Gaston’s daintiness sits towards the rough end of the spectrum.IMG_1229

One day at the park, Mrs. Poodle and her children bump into Mrs. Bulldog and her four children. This is a significant moment and the reason for Gaston’s “differentness” becomes clear. A dog-swap results in things looking right but not feeling right. And this my friends is the message of the story. It’s an original twist on a important theme.

I enjoyed reading this one out-loud (to my lucky husband) and would probably reserve it for a non-preschool audience (maybe a little younger than husband-age) so you can really explore the ideas presented in such a deliciously fluffy bundle.

Check out Gaston at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Gaston from Fishpond.

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