Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park!
by Jessica Dimuzio, VMD and Johnny Angel
Natures Tales and Trails

"'What a clever dog! You want us to bark, bark, bark for our park. We'll tell everyone we want to keep our farm park.'"

Veterinarian Jessica Dimuzio and her Papillon Johnny Angel are distraught to learn that their neighborhood farm park, Norristown Farm Park, may be developed into a golf course. While Norristown Farm Park is the only park in Pennsylvania where children can learn about farming, the commonwealth is home to many golf courses. Jessica and Johnny Angel attend a town meeting, where they learn that as many people favor a golf course as support the farm park. Inspired by the reaction of the animal and human worlds to Johnny Angel's barking, Jessica starts a petition and soon amasses 4,000 signatures, and ultimately, the campaign to preserve the farm park is successful.

Intended for early elementary school students, Bark! Bark! Bark for My Park! combines easy-to-read, engaging text with charming photographs (in lieu of the poorly executed illustrations so rampant in self-published children's books). The concept of a farm park is well-defined through examples of the wildlife and their activities that Jessica and Johnny Angel witness on a hike through the park. While Johnny Angel is imbued with human-like characteristics, Dimuzio succeeds in making her pet charming and believable, but not too cutesy, and avoids the anthropomorphism that too many children's authors find irresistible. Winner of both the 2008 SCBWI Kimberly Colen Memorial Grant and a Mom's Choice Award, this book provides a great introduction to environmentalism and preservation for young children, emphasizing that anyone can make a difference in their world.

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