Copyright Marti Regan Szczur. All Rights Reserved.
Marti Regan Szczur
Nicki hates reading aloud at school. When she stumbles over words, the other kids laugh at her. She decides to never talk again ... until she meets Buddy, the reading dog. The combination of gentle narrative and moment perfect photos make this a very inviting book for beginner readers.
The Executive Director of the Therapy Animals/Reading Education Assistance Dogs® (R.E.A.D.®) states that "Reading to My Buddy captures the essence of why having a dog as a reading companion is so powerful and effective. But be forewarned--readers will be clamoring for reading dogs for themselves!" This easy reader book is accessed for US Grades 1 and 2 with a Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level Index of 1.8.
Reading to My Buddy
Marti's dog, Sadie, who was the inspiration for Dogs of a Different Collar, was a certified therapy dog for many years. She was also qualified to be a reading companion at schools and would go on visits to help young students become more confident readers.
During these reading adventures with Sadie, Marti thought it would be fun for these students, who are actually reading to a real dog to read a story about a child reading to a dog. Thus, the idea of Reading to My Buddy was born.
Marti liked the play on words of the title, "Reading to My Buddy", where Buddy is the name of the dog. And, she wanted to use photographs for the illustrations. However, Sadie, who is a standard poodle, just didn't look like a "Buddy", but a friend had a yellow lab who fit the part perfectly.
Many thanks to Elizabeth and Bingley, my patient and photogenic human and dog models, respectively. Thanks also to North Branch School in Afton, VA, for allowing me to take photographs in her classrooms.
Here are some photo shots, which were used for the B&W illustrations in book.
Five Star Readers' Favorite Rating
Reviewed by Darin Godby for Readers' Favorite on 2/15/2014
"Reading To My Buddy is a heart-warming book concerning a young girl who stutters and a dog named Buddy who loves her regardless. ... This book promotes animals and their ability to help sooth the fears of a child. This is a book that would serve well in schools and libraries, as well as at home for any child to enjoy. I truly enjoyed this excellent book and would welcome the opportunity to read other books by this author."
Read Full Review
“This is a great book that can convince children who dread reading out loud - to do it anyway... I like the way the author describes the little girl's thoughts and feelings. You can really feel for her and understand what a great help a dog can be for reluctant readers…”
By Children's Author Alinka Rutkowska, January 2014
“I did not like the book. I LOVED it!” Nora, 6 year old book critic
“ The combination of gentle narrative and moment perfect photos make this a very moving book.” Susan, Grandmother and retired teacher
“...a funny, touching story about a lovable dog helping a reluctant reader gain confidence." Ms. B., 1st grade teacher
"This book both gives a really good idea of the benefits of programs where school children read to dogs, but is written to be easily understood and enjoyed by young children." President of National Capital Therapy Dogs, Inc.
NOTE: Reading to Dog Programs are gaining in popularity. They are built around the simple premise that dogs don’t judge, and thus when kids read to a dog, they relax. Relaxed kids read better. Experts have also found that when kids have trouble paying attention, reading their lessons to a dog helps them better focus.