Gaston by Kelly diPucchio, review by Melissa Fox

When this came into the store, I was immediately won over by the cover. Who
wouldn't want to read a book prominently featuring a cheerful chair and a
happy dog?

The inside was just as charming. It's the story of Mrs. Poodle and her four
puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La -- who are all poodles like their mom --
and Gaston, who is not. All the proper things that come naturally to the
poodles, Gaston has to work at, but he "always worked the hardest,
practiced the longest, and smiled the biggest."

Then one day, Mrs. Poodle and her puppies bump into Mrs. Bulldog and her
four puppies, Rocky, Ricky, Bruno -- all bulldogs -- and Antoinette, who is
not. The moms realize that something wrong has gone wrong, that they
somehow managed to get each others' puppies. So, Antoinette and Gaston
switch.

They find, however, that being with their "proper" families is not all it's
cracked up to be.

"That evening Antoinetted tried to fit in with her new sisters, but she did
not like anything proper or precious or pink. On the other side of town,
Gaston tried to fit in with his new brothers, but he did not like anything
brutish or brawny or brown."

It's a delightful book to read aloud, from a simple, straightforward story
line full of alliteration to the bright, colorful illustrations. And it
has, underlying it all, an all-inclusive message that families are not
necessarily people who look or act the same. An enjoyable read for all
ages.

Gaston (Gaston and Friends) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781442451025
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - June 3rd, 2014