Howling with Huskies by Linda Chamberlain, PhD, MPH
Wonderful illustrations with an important, well-crafted, and delightfully delivered message.
After completing their morning chores on the homestead, Galena and Kimmo hear Tutku, the lead dog of the family's sled team, start to howl. Confused when they couldn't see what there was to howl about, they asked the wise husky why. He explained that it made him feel good, whether happy, sad, or many other emotions. When the children tried it, they found out he was right! They did feel better. That led them to seek out the other dogs for more remedies for handling big emotions.
Howling with Huskies by author, scientist, and Alaskan Linda Chamberlain simply and directly passes along ways that children (and adults, too!) can more easily manage stress and other feelings. The book is wonderfully illustrated with charming pictures and fabulous colors. The Northern Lights are gorgeous.
The children are depicted participating in chores and play, and there's even a discreet mention of the daily work that goes into caring for their dogs. Aside from the book's big message, this may segue into an easy discussion about the responsibilities of pet ownership with children who have been asking their parents to bring a new one into the family. New terms are introduced, specific to dog sledding, that will interest children and adults alike. The author uses the names of dogs she has personally known for her canine characters, and there is a fun mix of proper names, both common and those more familiar to residents in the far north.
However, the book's purpose is to offer coping strategies, and the advice coming from dogs may make a child more likely to give them a shot than those suggestions coming from a parent, teacher, doctor, or other adults. My boys would have loved this book when they were kids, especially since our family dog was a Siberian Husky named Ivan.
From its fun and alliterative title to its wonderful illustrations and important, well-crafted, and delivered message, I recommend HOWLING WITH HUSKIES to families for reading aloud and sharing with young elementary school-age readers.
I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tours.