Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more non-fiction. I am thankful that she has this challenge because I know I have read more nonfiction texts as a result.
Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog truly spoke to me.
Written by Fmr. Captain Luis Carlos Montalván with Bret Witter
Photographs by Dan Dion
My Thoughts: This book is a little bit of perfection. A book narrated by a dog is brilliant. Even better that it is told in simple brief text for young readers. The photographs are wonderful and convey the love and care that Tuesday and Luis have for each other. What really helps this cross over into excellence though is that the book shares this different type of service job. Readers may believe that service dogs are only for blind people. Not only do they see that service dogs partner with people for a variety of reasons, but in particular, readers learn about PTSD. This is a topic that many young readers may be dealing with in relation to family members and there simply aren't very many books that address the issue. The only other one I've read for young children is a middle grade chapter book called Fig Pudding. This is an opportunity for younger readers to find out a little bit about PTSD even if they have no experience with it in their family or neighborhood.
The text and the note at the end provide a lot of information about service dogs, disabilities and PTSD, but the book also has lighthearted moments. We see Tuesday with Luis under the bathroom stall and hanging out at an amusement park.
I will tell you though, I had tears flowing when I read this as I thought about the cost of war that goes beyond a monetary price tag. There are so many families that have been affected by war. This book shares some of that pain, but in a way that children can relate to without being overwhelmed. There is hope and healing here. If you want to have a glimpse into the book, watch the trailer below.