Book review: Stubby: A True Story of Friendship, by Michael Foreman

Foreman, Michael. Stubby: A True Story of Friendship. Anderson Press. 2019. $17.99. unp. ISBN 978-1-5415-5510-5. Ages 7-10. P8Q9

Smuggled onto the troop transport SS Minnesota in 1917 by comrades, Stubby became the first dog in the Army to gain a rank after he was made sergeant for capturing a German soldier mapping the Allied trenches. Foreman beautifully tells Stubby’s story as he gained the affection of the men and raised an alarm of a gas attack. Severely wounded, the dog spent six weeks convalescing in a hospital where he saluted the other soldiers as he had been taught. Stubby wore the jacket made by local women that had been covered by medals when he marched in a victory parade back in the U.S. after the war.

Verdict: The heartwarming story includes the realities of war—its ruins, explosions, and Stubby “covered in mud and blood, his eyes full of pain.”

April 2019 review by Nel Ward.

Book review: Jamal’s Journey, by Michael Foreman

Foreman, Michael. Jamal’s Journey. Anderson Press, 2017. Unpaged. ISBN 9781512439496. Ages 4-9. P7Q7

Jamal is a little camel, who has to walk, walk, walk everywhere. He envies his mama and baba who have long legs, and the falcons who get carried everywhere unless they are flying. It’s hard for a little camel to keep up. Then a dust storm comes, and Jamal gets separated from his family. He’s afraid and tries to find help from the desert animals. Finally, a falcon comes and leads him toward the great city where he finds his family again. Jamal gains some confidence through this experience, and realizes that the world is more than just sand. I enjoyed the soft, warm illustrations, especially the ones that contrast the desert, the big city, and the marketplace. I especially enjoyed this book because it made me think about my time in Saudi Arabia and the many dust storms I experienced there.

VERDICT: This is a pleasant story with a nice ending. It will work well as a read aloud, and could be used when talking about other areas of the world or about country vs. city life.

February 2018 review by Carol Schramm.