Reviews

“Children’s Books: Magical Moments in Everyday Worlds
A dog named Tuesday does small tasks for his master, a wounded veteran, and lifts his spirits, helps him sleep.

With an intelligent, soft-eyed golden retriever gazing at us from the cover of “Tuesday Tucks Me In” (Roaring Brook Press, 40 pages, $16.99), we know our heartstrings are about to be pulled. And so they are in this simple and informative book documenting, in photographs, the ways in which a real dog named Tuesday helps a real American veteran, the author himself, manage daily life in the aftermath of the Iraq war.

Allegedly narrated by Tuesday himself (though in fact by former Capt. Luis Carlos Montalván and Bret Witter ), the account begins by making us laugh: “In the morning, every morning, my friend Luis wakes up to . . . this.” On the facing page, we see a close-up of a snuffly, bewhiskered muzzle. Dan Dion’s photographs go on to show how the dog helps his traumatized master, performing small tasks such as bringing his socks and shoes as well as providing emotional support when Luis feels nervous or panicky. “I even sleep with him, which helps to control his nightmares,” Tuesday explains. Dog and man care for one another in scenes of surpassing tenderness in this gentle book for 5- to 8-year-olds.

The Wall Street Journal

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“An appealing golden retriever takes readers through his life as a service dog assisting a retired Army captain living with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury.

The story of Tuesday the service dog and his partner was first explored in Montalván’s best-selling memoir, Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him (2011). This story for much younger readers offers a simplified look at the author’s life, with his beloved dog effectively employed as first-person narrator. The use of the canine as storyteller provides some distance from the author’s hardships while highlighting the undeniably charming golden retriever’s winning personality and photogenic expressions. Superb photographs of the author and Tuesday bring their urban lifestyle into sharp focus as they navigate the subway, stairs, taxi rides and visits to parks, as well as their shared life in their apartment. Full-page photographs alternate between smaller views set against backgrounds of mostly blues and purples, establishing a contemporary tone in the book’s thoughtful design. The simple text uses just a few sentences per page, with well-chosen details conveying the challenges Montalván faces in a matter-of-fact way. A concluding note from the author shares more of his history and information on service dogs assisting disabled veterans.

A touching story that will appeal to all dog lovers and to older children, including those with limited reading skills. (Informational picture book. 4-10)”

KIRKUS

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Based on Montalván and Witter’s 2012 adult title Until Tuesday, the real-life story of an Iraq veteran (Montálvan) with PTSD and his service dog is presented for young readers in intimate photographs and easy-to-grasp descriptions. Tuesday, a golden retriever, tells readers about his life with his owner, Luis: “I even sleep with him, which helps control his nightmares.” Photographs show New York City residents Luis and Tuesday during their morning routine (Tuesday brings Luis his socks and shoes), visiting a restaurant, meeting other veterans, and traveling on the subway (“Luis doesn’t like crowds. So he hugs me while we ride”), eventually arriving at Coney Island. A moving story about companionship, loyalty, and the value of service dogs. Ages 4–8. (June)

– Publishers Weekly

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Tuesday is a service dog for Montalván, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, among other disabilities, and knows exactly how and when to soothe him. Tuesday is always with his owner, supporting him as he goes down stairs or riding with him in cabs. The book is told from the dog’s point of view and narrated in a calm, easy-to-understand tone (I even sleep with him, which helps control his nightmares). The book is humorous but also portrays the sometimes-depressing reality of Montalván’s life. It documents their daily activities, including going to the veteran’s hospital. There are special treats, too, such as an ice-cream cone at Coney Island. Readers see the close bond between the two and how they care for each other. Crisp, full-page, full-color photographs make evident this strong bond and show their busy life in New York City. The book concludes with an informational note from Montalván that explains more about his disabilities and how much freedom Tuesday has given him. He also talks briefly about the organization that trained Tuesday. A well-written, informative book for both school and public libraries.

– School Library Journal

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“This is the story of how a special dog was paired up with a war veteran to make him feel complete.

The dog, Tuesday, is a specially trained dog that helps Luis with everyday activities from reminding him to take his medicine to getting him his cane. Tuesday even sleeps beside Luis to help control the nightmares, called flashbacks, which he has from his time in the war.

Luis takes care of Tuesday every day also, he brushes him from the top of his head to the end of his tail. Luis also brushes Tuesday’s teeth and takes him to the park where he gets to be with other dogs.

There are service dogs for all kinds of people. They help them to live more independent lives. And although becoming a service dog is a lot of hard work, the human-animal relationship is very strong and rewarding.  What a beautiful story.

– BrodartVibe

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“Montalván, the best-selling author of the adult memoir Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him (2011), is a 17-year army veteran and advocate for veterans with disabilities. Yet this is not his story but that of his golden retriever service dog, Tuesday. The sweet tale follows one perfect day in Tuesday’s life, from the time he wakes Montalván, to his helping his owner navigate the crowded streets and subways of New York City, to a fun trip to an amusement park and playtime with his friends. Tuesday himself relates how he was assigned to assist with the wounds Montalván received during his two tours of duty in Iraq. The reciprocal loyalty and love between dog and owner is palpable and endearing, and photographs of Tuesday resting his head on his master’s feet or taking a cab ride will delight dog lovers. Tuesday typifies the unbreakable bond between humans and canines, and in a kid-friendly way, manages to dispel some of the stigma of post–traumatic stress disorder and invisible war wounds.

Booklist

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Tuesday Tucks Me In,” Inspiring Tale of Service Dog and His Veteran

Tuesday is Luis’s furry friend, a service dog that assists the disabled veteran in day-to-day life. Children will learn lots about the special bond they share in “Tuesday Tucks Me In,” by Luis Carlos Montalván, author, along with Bret Witter.

Luis was injured in the war; the trauma he experienced left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Nightmares, day and night, anxiety and panic attacks made Luis a prisoner in his own home.

He began to know new freedom when Tuesday, affectionately known as Toopy, came to live with him.

Photographs by Dan Dion show the depth of trust and love Luis has for his Golden Retriever and how the feelings are returned as the two go about their daily tasks. The story is told with a light-hand from Tuesday’s point of view.

An endnote offers more facts about service dogs and the helping roles they play. This new picture book is a moving story that children will request, not just on Tuesdays but on other days of the week as well.

“Tuesday Tucks Me In,” is appropriate for children kindergarten—third grade.

– The Missourian

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Tuesday Tucks Me In is more than an entertaining children’s book. Luis and Tuesday teach kids about difficult issues like war and mental health in a gentle and thoughtful way.”

The Detroit Examiner

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“Tuesday, a golden retriever service dog, narrates this sometimes funny, sometimes hard-hitting picture book, describing how he helps take care of disabled veteran Luis: “He went to war, and he came back home in so much pain that he couldn’t live a normal life.” Through engaging color photographs and a clear, compelling text, the book portrays the difficulties of a vet suffering from PTSD: “I even sleep with him, which helps control his nightmares. He has daytime nightmares, too, called flashbacks. He gets nervous when people are around…or there are sudden movements…or loud sounds.” Readers also learn fascinating facts about service dogs: dogs can “hear human heartbeats,” so Tuesday can tell from Luis’s breathing and heartbeat whether he is calm enough to start walking somewhere in the city or if he needs some more time before setting off. Montalván doesn’t shy away from the nitty-gritty details, even showing Tuesday waiting patiently on a bathroom stall floor (“Yes, even there. I told you: Luis takes me everywhere”) and getting a chance to water a fire hydrant himself. An appended author’s note explains more about Luis’s condition and Tuesday’s training. Children, even if initially just drawn in by the adorable dog pictures, will come away with a much greater understanding of the lives of both a returning vet and a service dog.”

– The Horn Book