Foreword Reviews

Building Character with Booger and Bella


Clarion Rating: 3 out of 5

In her Building Character with Booger and Bella series, Larisa Coffman teaches children about how to be principled people using a favorite topic: animals. This particular book is about loyalty, and it is filled with much heart.

The narrator is Booger the dog, who takes kids through his past to show them exactly how he learned what loyalty means. His humorous introduction demonstrates that he has spunk and is a spitfire (“My name is Booger Coffman. Yep…that’s right. Booger. You may laugh at that name but it’s the coolest name EVER.”).

Booger does not have the easiest life. Most of the time, he and his family have to scrounge for food. Eventually, he is taken to a loud, freezing kennel, where he again uses his fiery personality to survive. But underneath it all, like any other dog, Booger just wants someone to love him. Readers understand that fact when potential adoptees come to take a look at him. Booger’s thoughts then are simple: “Come pick me up! Come give me the chance to love you!”

At first, Booger thinks that loyalty might mean something tangible, like a big meaty bone with a huge red ribbon on it. Only when a man named Mike finally wants him does he understand the true meaning of loyalty.

Coffman takes a difficult concept for children to grasp and puts it within their reach through the point of view of animals. True, quality photos of Booger and Bella add warmth, while a font that’s simple to read, and, of course, the unforgettable narration by Booger make this story kid friendly. Though her name is in the title, Bella is only depicted on one page and is not even mentioned by name. There are many unanswered questions. Was she adopted by the same people? How does loyalty relate to her?

Parents and teachers will love that Building Character with Booger and Bella: Loyalty presents a character trait in a way that’s easy to understand.

Reviewed by Kelly Thunstrom

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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