Love Me Gently is a Kid’s Guide for Dogs – Win it Here!
In the children’s book, Love Me Gently, a boy named Henry shares what he learns about caring for his new puppy, Cooper. This wonderful book encourages children to be kind to animals. Written in first person, Henry teaches the basics of taking care of a puppy, as well as his understanding that Cooper has feelings. Cooper can be hurt or he can be happy. When Cooper is happy he will be the “best dog ever” and he and Henry will be terrific friends. The illustrations are colorful and cheerful, perfect for a story that is geared towards children 3 to 8 years old.
Henry wants to teach Cooper to sit, but Cooper does not understand, Henry does not shout at Cooper, because, “that might hurt.” Instead, Henry gives Cooper a treat when Cooper does finally sit and “that makes him happy.” These two repetitive phrases are used effectively throughout the book.
I had the pleasure of watching this book read to a classroom of 7 and 8 year old children. The kids were engaged and enthusiastically joined in when “it might hurt” or “it makes him happy,” as Henry shares how both he and Cooper are learning together. My favorite part is when Henry learns that Cooper could run away and how important it is to keep the gate shut. He also learns that Cooper must always wear a collar with his name tag, so if he does escape, he can come home again.
When asked how she came up with the idea, the author, Lisa Wiehebrink, said, “It came to life on my grocery list while at the park with my youngest son, as I watched a young boy play roughly with his dog. I realized then that children innocently do things to animals that can be hurtful or harmful, so there should be a book that breaks down the most basic lessons we all need to learn when a new puppy enters our lives. My hope is that the book inspires kids to make good choices and empowers them to be compassionate toward all living things. Research proves that when small children are taught to be kind to animals, they most likely will treat their peers with the same respect as they grow.” Lisa actively promotes humane education by going to schools to read her book. She recently partnered with Bark Avenue Foundation to teach humane education. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram @lovemegentlybook. Lisa is currently working on two new children’s books, which will include Cooper — one about aging and one about bullying.
I recommend this book as a valuable tool to teach kindness to animals in a way that children can understand, especially since it is written from Henry’s perspective. Enter here to win Love Me Gently. If you are not the lucky winner of the book giveaway, you can purchase Love Me Gently on Amazon, or you can purchase the book and plush toy on the Love Me Gently website, both would be a lovely gift for the upcoming holidays.
(This post initially incorrectly stated that Lisa had partnered with I Pitty the Bull. My apologies for the error.)