My Favorite Things! Love Is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark
I AM PLUM, BUT I LOVE BEING CALLED PLUMMIE.
AND LOVE IS MY FAVORITE THING.
Plummie is an ebullient, enthusiastic, and often ecstatic mutt who loves just about everything--her little squishy bear, her fleecy warm bed, frisbees and the neighbor kids Sam and Gracie, who come over to throw the frisbees with her, and her owners Emma and Rupert, who take her to the park and praise her poos, even if they have to bag it!
"I LOVE ALL KINDS OF WEATHER, ESPECIALLY THE WIND.
(BUT I DON'T REALLY LOVE RAIN.")
But some of Plummie's enthusiasms turn out to be unfortunate! She learns that sofa cushions filled with feathers are not appropriate for a game of tug of war with Sam and Gracie and that going for a impromptu swim with her friend Rocket does not please Emma at all. Some of Plummie's favorite things have pitfalls.
Take ice cream, for example.
It's hard for Plummie not to follow little kids with double-dip cones. She well knows that toddlers and tall cones often lead to tipping and plopping--and sudden dog treats. So when she spots a likely tot with a teetering cone, she dogs her steps until, intimidated, the little kid throws the cone into a tote bag, Plummie is off with her prize, bag and all.
"I COULDN'T HELP IT. I GRABBED IT! THEN EVERYONE WAS CHASING."
"BAD DOG! COME HERE!
WHAT A NAUGHTY GIRL!!"
Emma and Rupert are so upset that they banish Plum down the dark stairs to the cellar.
I STARED INTO THE DARKNESS. WOULD THEY EVER LOVE ME AGAIN?
Preschoolers who are sometimes naughty despite themselves will love this well-told shaggy dog story, Emma Chichester Clark's Love Is My Favorite Thing (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015). Plum is a whiskery, bouncy pup with mischief in her eyes who will steal everyone's heart in this well-paced story. Clark's jolly pencil-and-watercolor illustrations tell the story by themselves, especially her empathetic portrayal of the the little malefactor doing penance in the dark. School Library Journal says, "Dog owners will recognize the authenticity in Plum's voice, that live-in-the-moment attitude, the inability to understand why certain actions are prohibited (hence the lack of explanations in the text), and that particular look that says, 'Please love me.'"
A great Valentine Day's read-aloud and a good book about unfailing love for any time.