This is a feel good story with a one-dimensional goal.... Readers could benefit by knowing more about the dog allowing greater access into the heart of the story.... The book's subject is worthwhile and young children will be captured by the dog's cuteness, but older readers may find the presentation too simple, the focus too narrow.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"It was a cold, wet morning. Dr. White dashed to the hospital. He was late," begins this affectionate tale starring a true hero to many children in critical condition. Litty (Lumina) carefully disguises the doctor's identity in her illustrations while casting out a few subtle clues. After showing a glimpse of a white tail and a canine-shaped shadow, she reveals the "doctor" as a small, white, shaggy dog who makes his rounds in the children's ward. Dr. White dispenses his time-proven medicine--cuddling, licking hands and thumping his tail on his patients' beds--and is credited for the recovery of many children. Basing her story on a valiant dog with a high success rate at a London hospital, Goodall (With Love) creates tension in the tale with the introduction of an ornery health inspector who evicts Dr. White from the hospital--until his own daughter's illness calls for drastic measures, and the staff secretly reinstates the pooch. Goodall's matter-of-fact text serves as the perfect foil for the dog's seemingly magical ability to heal, and her subject is timely. Against a predominance of hospital white, Litty's watercolor close-up portraits offer a warm contrast with a full range of human (as well as canine) expressions. If there are any skeptics out there who question the benefits of pet-assisted therapy, this book may well make believers of them. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A slight story about a little white dog that helps sick children. Dr. White has been adopted by the hospital staff and spends his days with the young patients, giving special attention to those who are critically ill. His love is often just what is needed to speed their recoveries. One day, a health inspector comes and orders the dog removed from the premises. He is banished to the backyard and he and the children suffer from the separation. The all-too-predictable outcome occurs when the inspector's daughter becomes ill and he finally witnesses for himself the benefits of the animal's attention. Dr. White is restored to his former position and all is well again. The text is simple and direct with illustrations in a pale palette that nicely reflects the quiet mood of the tale. However, the story is predictable and becomes mired in sentimentality that makes its message overwhelmingly obvious. The most ardent animal lovers might find some appeal here; however, most young readers will find it just too sweet. For a better account of a real animal involved with pet-assisted therapy, try Stephanie Calmenson's Rosie (Clarion, 1994).-Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
A sweet and heartwarming true story about a little white dog, who curled up on the beds of very sick children in a Children's Hospital in London and healed them with his warmth and love. Dr. White's tail thumped, his black nose snuggled, he licked sick hands, and critically ill children recovered. Goodall provides a note about pet-assisted therapy and why she found the story of Dr. White important enough to write down. There is suspense in the story; a health inspector bans the white furry dog from the hospital until his own daughter becomes seriously ill, then Dr. White returns to the scene. Litty's watercolors beautifully illustrate this tale about the healing power of love. (Picture book. 5-8) .