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Anna & Natalie

by Barbara H. Cole

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378542,096 (4.72)None
Anna and her seeing-eye dog Natalie are chosen by Anna's teacher to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary.

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Anna and Natalie both enter a contest to lay the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. Anna works hard to write a letter for her and Natalie. Anna's teacher is moved by the letter and allows the two to walk together. As Anna and Natalie lead the group to the Tomb, we then see Anna being escorted by Natalie, her service dog.
An excellent read! The way the author wrote the character of Natalie paired with the illustrations completely threw me off guard! Each picture depicted Natalie in such a way that you didn't even realize which "girl" was her. You also would not expect Anna's character to have a disability, which I think serves as a good reminder for kids and reinforces how we are all alike. ( )
  vviverito | Oct 7, 2019 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was unrelatable to me but I think that other students could really enjoy reading this story since it was blossomed into a beautiful friendship.
  ninaberger | Oct 7, 2015 |
This has been one of my favorite children's books I have read recently. The story has so many central messages but still manages to get each point across and surprise the readers at the end. I think one of the central messages was the importance of overcoming obstacles. Anna is clearly disabled in some way but you are not clearly told how until the end. i think that this helps the readers relate to her but also fall more in love with her. She was able to set a goal and be driven enough to complete that goal. I also liked how the author explained the historical significance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. By relating it to the main character, the reader is able to closely connect with Anna and why she is so determined to be in the wreath ceremony. And the final message that really tied the whole book together was the message about guide dogs. Natalie is not a person, like the readers are led to believe, but she is actually Anna's guide dog because she is blind. The author chose to focus more on Anna's determination and not on her disability. This story was heart-worming and informative. ( )
  emills4 | Sep 24, 2013 |
Anna and Natalie, by Barbra H Cole, was amazing. I really enjoyed reading this book the first time and enjoyed it even more reading it the second time. My favorite thing about this book was the characters, when you first read the book you don’t realized Anna is blind and Natalie is her seeing eye dog. As Cole build the character of Anna she builds Natalie with traits, at one point in time Anna calls Natalie lazy while she type the letter up and the dog sleeps. Even though she builds this awesome characters she builds them without pointing out, Anna's blind and Natalie's a dog, and this I found extremely interesting and fun to read. The next thing I really liked about this book was the push topic it was based on. Having blind children in a classroom can really be tough and for a student who has never seen a blind student before it might e a shock. This book talks about how Anna was never picked for anything, except the spelling bee, but never mentioned why till the end. After you finish you make the connection and go that is awful, that poor girl never gets picked because she's blind. This book is great for breaking the ice on special needs students. Last thing I really liked about this book was the illustrations. The illustrations allowed for you to not realize she was blind the first time around, but see it clearly the second time around. In every picture of the book Anna is pictured with someone and the dog is somewhere in the picture, in class the dogs under her desk but not super obviously. Outside the dogs on the swing, with another person, so you figure the author is describing that person not the dog. The illustrations for this book for just all around good and useful. The big picture for this text in my eyes would be to not judge people by first appearances. ( )
  babshe1 | Sep 19, 2013 |
This is one of my favorite stories that I have read thus far. I would recommend it to a person of any age. The illustration on the cover is of two girls sitting side by side. This makes the reader infer that the title, “Anna & Natalie”, are those two girls. The author describes Anna as a girl who doesn’t get picked for sports teams and most activities in the classroom. However, her determination gets her a spot to walk down the isle and be recognized by the whole town at the memorial ceremony. Anna put a lot of effort into her application letter and was selected as one of the four to be recognized because of her hard work and determination.
The next page revealed that Anna wrote the letter for Natalie, who was now discovered to be a seeing-eye-dog and that Anna is visually impaired and cannot see. This major plot twist had me go back and look at the illustrations. It was astonishing to see that the dog was slightly seen in the backgrounds of all the pages. I really enjoyed this aspect of the picture book. The reader would have not known Anna was blind; this supports the big idea of not judging people. Another theme that the story expresses is that classmates should not limit other students with disabilities to any extent. As a reader I also got the message of appreciation. I think Anna wanted to write this letter so that Natalie, the seeing-eye-dog, can be recognized for all the help she provides. The dog was depicted as minor tool for Anna and didn’t bother any of the classmates.
In fact, when Anna and Natalie were chosen, the whole class cheered for both of them. This gives readers the background knowledge that if they ever see an individual with a dog that has the specific collar and latch, to not be afraid or think negatively of it. I enjoyed that the end of the story was positive and Anna was honored for what she had accomplished and Natalie looked proud to be Anna’s “eyes”. ( )
  ngwiaz1 | Sep 17, 2013 |
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Anna and her seeing-eye dog Natalie are chosen by Anna's teacher to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary.

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