Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
This charming picture book stars Ed, the dog of the Ellis family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Ellis and their five exceptional children. Ed worries that he is not excellent enough to belong to the family. Why else would he not be allowed to eat at the table, ride in the car, sit on the couch, or use the bathroom in the house? All the others get to do that. So Ed thinks he needs to be excellent at something and then he will be allowed to do those things too. But every time Ed thinks he has found something he is excellent at, one of the Ellis children outdoes him. For instance, he thinks he is excellent at breaking stuff, but then Elaine breaks the record for the most soccer goals in a season. In the delightful ending, Ed discovers that he doesn’t eat at the table because he is excellent at cleaning the floor when food is spilled, he doesn’t ride in the car because he is excellent at welcoming the family home when they return from being out, and he doesn’t sit on the couch because he is excellent at warming his family’s feet on the floor. So Ed is excellent after all. But he is still puzzled about why he doesn’t he get to use the indoor bathroom. A funny and warm family story about belonging and being loved for who you are.