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Author: Sarah S Brannen

Illustrator: Sarah Brannen

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company, 2014

Material: hard cover

Summary: Madame Martine likes her routine. On one rainy Saturday she spotted a small, wet dog under a bush. She took the dog home and named him Max. Never could have Madame Martine predicted how her routine would change - but Max knew! This quiet picture book shares a story of love, discovery, and being open to new things.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: What a sweet, sweet story. Although the story is a bit predictable, it is still a wonderful read and one that I would highly recommend. The illustrations help add dimension to the action, as well as spotlight Madame Martine's and Max's personalities. I love how Madame Martine's "colors" change at the end of the story.

Pros: Madame Martine and her adorable puppy take us on a light adventure of friendship and change. The narrative is easy to follow, and the illustrations will keep even the youngest listeners glued to the page while you read.

Cons: None, really. I do wish I knew what "Ma parole" meant. One note for families with children who want to bring home every animal they see. Madame Martine looks around for the puppy's owner, but "quickly" adopts him. The idea of looking for an owner isn't part of this story, but you might need to be prepared to answer that question.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. Buy two, because you'll want to give one as a gift. The story is perfect for bedtime or any time.


Educational Themes: Read this book just for the sweetness of the story! When sharing with elementary-aged kids, it is an opportunity to share the concept that you can have a routine (do what's comfortable) but also try new things, too. The illustrations of Paris at dusk are abstract; for kids who are interested in seeing the city, definitely look for some images with views from the Eiffel Tower. As noted above, some kids may get wrapped up in the idea that you can "just" bring home a puppy if you find it.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, friendship, life lessons

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


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