Nunu and His Best Friend
by Nunzio Acocella
Trafford Publishing

"Two months go by and Nunu by now knows his name he listens whenever I call him by his name."

Giovanni is just a young boy when he emigrates from Italy to the United States with his family. Living in an apartment above a clothes factory, Nunu helps his parents pay their rent by spending his free time cleaning various areas of the building every week. One week while cleaning, Giovanni discovers a cardboard box that moves when he approaches it. Frightened but curious, he opens the box and discovers an abandoned newborn puppy inside. Intent on taking care of the puppy, Giovanni sneaks it into the building basement and takes care of it without revealing the puppy’s presence to anyone. In order to keep the dog, which he names Nunu, Giovanni agrees to clean even more of the building every day, ensuring that Nunu and Giovanni can stay together and begin a lifelong friendship.

This story is a mixture of autobiographical recollections from the author and some fictional padding to help tell the story of Nunu the dog. This isn’t just a pet story, though, as it initially tells the life of the author as a young immigrant and what, even just fifty years ago, that experience was like. In this way, children who simply like reading about animals will also learn a little bit of history as relayed personally from someone who experienced it. Each page of text is paired up with a full-page illustration that adds unwritten details to every scene. In just a few minutes, parents can share with their children the importance of taking on responsibility when owning or rescuing an animal and open their eyes to the melting pot structure of American culture.

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