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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
The Jones family has two children and two dogs, Lucy and Dillon. They make an exciting family, full of love and energy. When Mrs. Jones announces that Lucy is expecting puppies, everyone makes an extra effort to care for Lucy and prepare for the new additions to the family. Dillon feels like he is shoved aside. No one wants to play with him anymore and he’s feeling rather sorry for himself. It doesn’t change after the puppies are born. The family is super excited about the puppies and Dillon is feeling left out. That is until one night during a fierce thunderstorm, Dillon finds Lucy upset because her puppies have managed to escape through the open door, out into the stormy night. Dillon shakes off his jealousy and goes into action, finding and retrieving the lost puppies, one at a time. Now, he’s the family hero and the center of attention.
Cindy Orr-Jones’s picture book story, No Room for Dillon, is more than a cute story about dogs and puppies. The author explores the jealousy that understandably arises when a new member of the family is expected, be it a human baby or a puppy. As the plot develops, the young reader will feel compassion for Dillon and his sense of dejection, but they will also learn how to cope and how to come together as a family in a time of crisis. The language is simple for the young reader, and perhaps the learning-to-read youngster, and there are lots of repeated words and phrases to reinforce word recognition. The illustrations are colorful and certainly help move the story along. A great dog story, family story, and a compassionate story full of valuable lessons we all need to learn.