Daniel, the Golden Retriever

Feiwel & Friends. Mar. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250794758.
PreS-Gr 1–The first thing Daniel wants you to know is that he is a very good boy. He wins awards at dog shows and does jobs to help out friends. He wins best sporting dog at the dog show, but he wants to win the Best in Show ribbon for his friend and handler, Karen. Daniel is not named the winner. He is disappointed, but Karen gives him a hug and tells him: “You did your best, and I’m so proud of you.” Daniel then realizes, “I am the goodest boy—even without a big red, white, and blue ribbon.” Written by the real Daniel’s owner, the story is based on Daniel’s experience at the 2020 Westminster Dog Show, where he lost the Best in Show title but became a fan favorite. The central message of this story is the value of focusing not on winning, but on doing your personal best in a competition. Daniel provides a wonderful model of how to lose gracefully: despite feeling disappointment, he gives a “congratulatory wag” to the winning poodle. Similarly, his handler Karen provides a powerful model for parents and other adults of how to provide loving support in a competitive atmosphere. Many children will connect to Daniel’s desire to please his grown-up, and seeing her heap praise upon him despite his loss is a vital reminder to all readers that their value is not dependent upon their accolades. Daniel’s innocent and optimistic narration is paired with friendly digitally painted illustrations. Following the story are two sections listing the common traits of golden retrievers, and detailing jobs common to the breed.
VERDICT This story of grace in defeat is recommended for general purchase, and most especially for anyone who loves dogs.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing