This story is based on the author's dog Plum. Plus was originally featured on the author's blog: Plumdog Blog where she chronicles Plum's life. The first book about Plum is titled, Love is My Favorite Thing, which Us Weekly called an "action-packed picture book." While we have not read this original book, we were thrilled to receive this follow-up story that shares Plum's struggles with feeling left out because of a new cat that recently moved in next door.
Plum always felt that she was so special, because she was loved by her owners Emma and Rupert, and her best friends from next door, Sam and Gracie. Then, one day, Sam and Gracie had a special surprise for her. They had a new cat named Binky. Binky seemed to want to be friends right from the start. Unfortunately, Plum saw this little cat as a threat to her "specialness" and of course, cats aren't supposed to be favorite things for dogs. Binky was following Plum everywhere, even to the dog park, and did everything Plum was doing.
One day they got trapped in a shed and Binky was able to escape. Plum thought she had been abandoned, yet Binky led Sam and Gracie back to her. Though you would think this would warm her heart to the kitty, Plum then started getting more jealous, because she saw all the special things the cat could do, and figured her family and friends loved him more.
Even Plum's dog friends at the dog park tried to reassure her. They wanted to know if she had tried being friends with Binky, and told her that there's plenty of love to go around. Still, Plum wasn't convinced. She even barred poor Binky from the house, and then it started to rain.
Before she could decide whether she was going to let him in or not, Emma and Rupert came home and saw what she had done. They realized that Plum was jealous and reminded her that there was room in their hearts for both of them, and wanted to know if Plum had a big enough heart to let Binky in to hers. The last page shows her answer:
Such a sweet, heart-warming picture to end the story with. Don't you think?
This is such a sweet book that we all enjoyed. I loved learning that Plum is based on a real life dog. This story is both a great way to show that love is BIG and can get bigger. There is no need to be jealous of a new pet or even perhaps a new baby that might be on the way. As a mother of 11 children, this is definitely something I can attest too. When one more child joins a family, that doesn't mean the other children get less love. The love that is in the house doesn't have to be divided among the children. The love we have multiplies to include everyone.
This story is told in such a sweet way. We can understand Plum's concerns, but we also see poor Binky's attempts at befriending Plum. I realized I could feel pain for both of them. This book really tugged at my heart-strings. Binky just wanted to be friends, and Plum didn't want to lose her special place in her family and friends' hearts. The combination of the sweet text and playful watercolor and colored pencil illustrations tells a wonderful story of love.
This is a wonderful book for children to understand there is no need to be jealous when there is a new friend on the playground, or a new baby joining the family. We need to embrace these new playmates and family members. It is also a great book to share on and around Valentine's Day, to remind your children that you love each and every one of them.
Emma Chichester Clark has written and illustrated numerous picture books, including Love Is My Favorite Thing and the Blue Kangaroo series. She grew up in the Irish countryside, where she began making books with sewn-up spines when she was five years old. She studied graphic design and later attended the Royal College of Art. Her first picture book project was illustrating Laura Cecil's Listen to This!, which won the Mother Goose award for Best Newcomer to Children's Book Illustration. She lives in West London with her husband, three stepsons, and of course, her beloved dog, Plum
Published by is an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group (www.penguin.com/youngreaders). The book retails at $17.99. Release date: November 22, 2016. The book is suitable for young children, 3-5 years of age.
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Disclosure: I received a hardcover copy of Plenty of Love to Go Around in exchange for my honest review. No further compensation was given. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.