This is not a cook book. Chowder is a bulldog with a lot of quirks. Peter Brown takes on the familiar children’s book theme of “It’s OK to be different”, but does it in a very fresh way which children of this generation will get immediately. I must confess that I did not buy this book because I read it in the store, like I usually would. Rather I knew I would like this book when I leafed through the first few pages and saw that the Copyright page was titled “For Grumps”. I don’t think I read another word, instead I decided that this author “gets it” and made my purchase.
When I returned home to find my seven month old twins in a patient, receptive mood I immediately dug out Chowder and began to read them the story. I quickly found myself captivated along with the kids. Chowder is truly “different” as far as the other dogs in the neighborhood are concerned, and those differences make him lonely. Chowder’s saving grace are his owners, the Wubbingtons who embrace Chowders differences as openly and lovingly as any family would the quirks of their children. I don’t want to give too much away, suffice it to say that this whole adventure revolves around Chowder making new friends with a crowd of petting zoo animals. Through determination and bravery, Chowder sure does make an impression.
I can not recommend this book highly enough. The artwork in this book is truly divine and is sure to keep your children’s attention. Anyone who has ever had a quirk and been loved because of it, or in spite of it will be able to relate. Kids, especially in the age group this book targets, are all about discovering differences and commonalities. When they read (or are read) this book, they will be rooting for Chowder the whole way (I suspect my 7 month olds just liked hearing me talk). The characters in this book are instantly likable and I suspect that your entire family will fall in love with the Wubbingtons and their quirky bulldog Chowder.
Image © 2005 Peter Brown