An easy-to-read story about a little girl’s dream of playing Dorothy with her own dog, Dixie, in the role of Toto.
Dixie is initially excited when Emma, her owner, is chosen to be the star of the school production of The Wizard of Oz. Anything that makes Emma happy makes Dixie happy. “All you have to do is follow me everywhere,” Emma reassures the pup. That sounds perfect to the dog. When Dixie realizes that the play preparations are cutting into her Emma time, though, she retaliates by hiding with one of the ruby slippers, leaving Dorothy with no Toto and only one shoe. With very short sentences, ample white space and sight-word vocabulary, this will be accessible to the earliest readers. A straightforward, comforting plot, coupled with rich, full-color illustrations, adds appeal. Dixie’s antics are particularly energetic—she runs in circles around the pages while Emma holds her red pigtails in exasperation. When Emma thinks all is lost, the illustration droops in empathy: Her fuzzy-bear slippers’ faces frown; the picture on the wall shows Dixie walking away; and her stuffed animal dejectedly flops over the edge of the bed. The dog-and-girl friendship deepens as Emma realizes that her sweet Dixie is truly her best pal.
New readers looking for a good confidence builder should grab this one. (Early reader. 4-8)