Ruby’s New Home by Tony and Lauren Dungy

Cybils nominee: Easy Readers. Nominated by The HappyNappyBookseller.

Ruby is the new puppy, and Jade, Jordan, and Justin must learn to share. This easy reader (level two) reads like a Sunday School story without the God-talk. All the kids in the family learn to share the new puppy, Ruby.

Tony Dungy is a name even I recognize. He was the head football coach for the 2006 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Colts, and he’s known to be an evangelical Christian. Maybe that’s why the book reminded me of Sunday School. Coach Dungy and his wife Lauren have two daughters and five sons, another reason for me to like this writing team. There’s also an advertisement inside the back cover for Mr. Dungy’s fatherhood encouragement program, All Pro Dad’s Day and the matching program for women called iMom Mornings. There are currently 931 “All Pro Dad’s Day” chapters at public schools in 48 states in nine countries, where more than 40,000 fathers and their kids gather.

So, the story is slight but fun, and the intent and purpose is good. The family in the book is a happy, puppy-loving, African American family, and I think that’s a plus.

Z-baby: “It would be good for really little kids like five or six year olds.”

*This book is nominated for a Cybils Award, and I am a judge for the first round thereof. However, no one paid me any money, and nobody knows which books will get to be finalists or which ones will get the awards. In other words, this review reflects my opinion and Z-baby’s and nothing else.

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