Molly McPherson: 1st Lady is an enjoyable story about a remarkable dog.
Janice McAlpine’s Molly McPherson: 1st Lady is a cute story about a very special dog.
Molly is a happy, friendly young dog who loves to play with her people, the McPhersons. When Mr. McPherson is worried about a friend from work who has gone missing, Molly knows that she has to help make things right for her people.
Molly, with the help of her best friends Beau and Mitzi, sets off to find the missing man. Their journey is scary, but they never falter, despite their own uncertainties. Molly and her dog friends are lively and relatable, with personalities that will be familiar to anyone who has ever loved a dog.
The illustrations that accompany the book are simple, done in what appears to be colored pencil or crayon, with a childlike quality that young children will appreciate. Despite their lack of polish and precision, these images are successful in capturing the loving, playful personality of the dogs.
The book is quite short, with a significant amount of text on each page. The thoughts of Molly and her friends are separated from the rest of the text, either with large bold print or with sentences set at an angle to the rest of the text. This may help early readers distinguish between the narrative voice and the characters’ voices. The method is also visually interesting.
Though the story itself is sweet and innocent, the way that Beau and Mitzi handle their fears—Beau hides his; Mitzi is told to be quiet about hers and support her friend—may result in an unintended and concerning message. Parents may find this a good space to talk to children about the importance of trusting their feelings in potentially dangerous situations, too.
Molly McPherson: 1st Lady is an enjoyable book. Molly is clearly a remarkable dog and is understandably the “first lady” in the hearts of her people. She will be loved by young children reading about her adventure as well.
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