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Readers' Choice: Favorite New Special-Needs Children's Book

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Finalist: Nuzzle
Nuzzle by Donnie Kanter Winokur
Cover image courtesy of Jodee Kulp

Title: Nuzzle
Subtitle: Love Between a Boy and His Service Dog
Author: Donnie Kanter Winokur
Length: 48 pages
Website: www.thechancerchronicles.com/nuzzle.html
Finalist for: Favorite New Special-Needs Children's Book

Message from the Author: "Nuzzle: Love Between A Boy and His Service Dog provides insight into the world of invisible disability in the gentle and tender voice of Chancer, a lovable 90-pound golden retriever. Designed and written as an early reader for six- to eight-year-olds, Nuzzle is a delightful read-aloud or audio book for anyone with heart. Chancer has provided social lubrication to friendship for our son Iyal, and he has become the wonderful 'woof' in opening destigmatized dialogue for persons living with the challenges of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). As one six-year-old told his family, 'This is my favorite story. It is just the right sad and just the right happy. Chancer makes me laugh and teaches me to be a good friend to a kid who needs one.'"

Excerpt from Nuzzle:

Pages 5-7:
My name is Chancer.
I am a golden retriever.

Right from the start
my nose was
my map!
My favorite place
was ONLY a sniff away.
It was my Mommy.

She fed us ALL at the same time!
It was crowded.
Mommy's name is Windy.
Daddy's name is Quinn.
As a puppy I drank --
Breakfast, Lunch,
Snacks, and Dinner.

Then I slept with my ten soft
warm brothers and sisters.
I didn't know who was who
or what was what.
Was my pillow a belly or a bottom?
It didn't matter because
I felt safe.

Pages 28-29:
Here he was ...
my boy...
my special boy!

His name is Iyal
and I call him my favorite.
He was the reason I was born.
He was adopted!
I hoped I could be too!

For ten days my boy, his family,
and the trainers at 4 Paws for Ability
worked together.

I learned my boy was born
with a brain injury.
It’s a kind of
fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Before Iyal was born, his birth mother
drank alcohol. This hurt his body and
mind. She did not know it
would make life hard
for her son.

See pages 28 and 29 as they are in the book.

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