Help the Homeless!: Ruff and the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day by Gillian Shields and Caroline Jayne Church
"BUSY, BUSY, ALL DAY LONG,
TOODLE-OODLE, THAT'S MY SONG."
Ruff is not your lazy, lay-about pooch. His little home is shipshape, his windows washed, his gardens are flower-filled, and he has decided to use some of his extra energy digging a scenic pond out front.
But there are unforeseen consequences.
Ruff's landscaping inadvertently destroys the underground home of little mouse, who is understandably upset with him.
"SOMEONE HAS DUG UP MY HUBBLE HOUSE!" HE SQUEAKS.
"WHAT'S A HUBBLE HOUSE?" ASKS RUFF.
"THAT WAS MY HOUSE!"
So the kind-hearted Ruff stops excavating long enough to construct a cozy shed for Hubble's habitation.
Back at work, with Hubble's help, Ruff soon has the pond dug and filled, and he pronounces it perfect.
But then another homeless critter appears! An unhappy little duckling, unable to keep up with the migration, falls into the pond. Tears ensue.
"NOW I HAVE NO WHERE TO LIVE!" LOTTIE THE DUCK SOBS.
RUFF AND HUBBLE LOOK AT EACH OTHER.
Hmmm. Ruff has an empty ornamental pond. Lottie has no place to call home. Perhaps his pond is not quite perfect. Perhaps what it needs most is a perfectly picturesque duckling plying its waters. It's all in a day's work in Gillian Shields' and Caroline Jayne Church's homey little story, Ruff! And the Wonderfully Amazing Busy Day (Harper, 2013). Ruff is as cute as a speckled pup, which is how Church portrays him, but a pooch with a kind heart for needy new friends. It's a sweetly simple tale that captures the preschool nature of her characters gently, with a theme that softly suggests an admirable personal code of behavior.