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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  3,657 Ratings  ·  538 Reviews
This is the story of four puppies: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Gaston works the hardest at his lessons on how to be a proper pooch. He sips - never slobbers! He yips - never yaps! And he walks with grace - never races! Gaston fits right in with his poodle sisters.But a chance encounter with a bulldog family in the park-Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette-reveals ...more
Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published April 1st 2014)
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Rating details
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Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-2016
“Whatever the lesson, Gaston always worked the hardest, practiced the longest, and smiled the biggest.”

This is such an adorable book! It was recommended on Goodreads and was finally marked down as a Kindle book a couple of weeks ago so I bought it right away.

Gaston, a white little Frenchie, is raised in a family of poodles. Though he doesn’t exactly look like the other members of his family, or find it as easy to learn “poodle finesse,” he tries his hardest to be himself.

When the “mix-up” is dis
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Cute, switched-at-birth story.


Still, I have mixed thoughts ... I'm not sure about the message it conveys to young kids. There are good lessons here, but something doesn't sit too well with me.
Anyway ... cute.

Rating, 3.5
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So sweet! I loved this. It shows that family is those who love you and whom you love, not necessarily those who are "like" you. I could see this being used in adoptive families and many other situations. Loved it. Oh, and the dogs' names are great, too. My two year old loved the book even though the many layers of the message are beyond him right now.
Edward Sullivan
The illustrations are great but an underlying message of the story is problematic. On one level, it's a sweet story about belonging and family but on another level it seems to reinforce gender stereotypes with tenderness depicted as innately feminine and brutishness masculine. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but that's how it strikes me.
Marjorie Ingall
Nov 30, 2014 rated it liked it
The art is AMAZEBALLS. After Josephine (HI MUST-BUY), Christian Robinson is quickly becoming one of my new fave illustrators. But I was troubled by the resonances of the story. I don't really think we're all nature or all nurture. I don't want kids to think that. This book basically does say NATURE WINS HANDS-DOWN BOOM. I also wonder what adopted kids would think of this book -- that they'll never truly belong with their adoptive family because there is a REAL family out there that's exactly lik ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gaston is the perfect poodle puppy. He never barks, slobbers, or any other messy thing. He fits in perfect with his proper poodle family. Until a trip to the park reveals a startling revelation. In Kelly DiPucchio’s adorable new picture book, Gaston learns the true meaning of family, love, and being who you truly are.

Seriously, this book is freakin’ adorable. It was recommended to me by a fellow librarian (therefore you know it will be amazing) and it completely warmed my heart! Go forth and re
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I really liked this one. A tale of two puppies that may somehow have gotten switched. A celebration of differences. An affirmation of being yourself.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Gaston lives with his mother and his three siblings, Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La. They are all poodles, but Gaston is something else. He worked hard to be the best poodle puppy he could be, not slobbering, barking correctly and walking gracefully. When the poodle family went to the park, they met a bulldog family there that had its own unusual family member who looked like a poodle. There had clearly been a mix up! So Gaston switches places with Antoinette. Now the families look just the way t ...more
Laura Pamplona
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, for-work
I don't usually review Children's books because I read them EVERY DAY, that means I would have to write reviews EVERY DAY. I don't really have time for that...

The story of Gaston can teach so many lessons in a classroom and even in your own home. It is an easy way to put in perspective that whatever you learn at home does not necessarily apply to all the other homes around you. It is this what makes your family special, what makes YOU special. It is not the place where you come from but the peop
Megan (ReadingRover)
I loved this book. It was adorable. The art was great and the story was cute. The only problem was that I was a little confused by the whole moral of the story. I think it's supposed to be that just because you look like certain people it doesn't mean you belong with them and that you belong with the people you love. It was just an odd way to show that. Don't get me wrong. The story was great. It's about a puppy who is switched at birth and when the mothers figure it out they attempt a switch ba ...more
Barb Middleton
This is about a bulldog that gets mixed up with a poodle family and vice versa. It's about embracing differences but it also represents adoption and how a person might look different from others in the family but is a member all the same. You could also use it to discuss how some people have to work harder at being good at something than others. A surprising amount of themes are layered in this picture book. Students laughed every time I said the poodles' names: Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-la-la.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, picture-books
5 stars for illustration, 3 stars for text.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"What looks right, doesn't always feel right." Ain't that the truth?!
Joyce Himmel
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You need to be what feels right to you!!!!
Tegan (The Rowdy Librarian)
Oh my goodness, this is just the cutest! So glad it won the Monarch!
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Yes, I got a little misty eyed for a page or two.
Jessica Brown
I really loved this adorable book about belonging and acceptance, and even all the whining I've read in reviews about it "reinforcing negative stereotypes" can't stop me from loving it. Maybe that makes me an asshole, but oh well. In the end, they teach each other how to be a little different than what's expected of them, so where's the reinforcement?
Gaston is a bulldog in a family of poodles. He doesn't "look" like he belongs, and has to work extra hard to be a proper little dog. His mom is al
Fred Slusher
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gaston is a bulldog puppy living with a family of poodles. He doesn’t always fit in, but he always tries his hardest to follow rules and impress his mom. One day the poodles and Gaston head to the park. While at the park they notice a family of bulldogs with a poodle puppy, Antionette. It seems there was a mix-up at the puppy hospital. The families switch puppies only to discover that although Gaston and Antionette don’t look like their brothers and sisters, their family bonds go deeper
Emily Livadary
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-frida
Love this book. It really hits the sweet spot of fun storytelling, positive life lessons, and adorable illustrations all in one. Bonus: the opportunity to do an exaggerated French accent here and there.

Yes, the idea that these dogs were accidentally switched at birth and end up being raised by different families is problematic, but since it is never actually made explicit (we as adults know that a poodle can’t give birth to a French bulldog and vice-versa, but as far as the book goes, it could
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
First sentence: Mrs. Poodle admired her new puppies. Fi-fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston.

Premise/plot: Gaston is not like Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, or Ooh-La-La. In fact he isn't like his mother, Mrs. Poodle, either. Oh, he tries really hard to excel in his lessons. "Whatever the lesson, Gaston always worked the hardest, practiced the longest, and smiled the biggest." One day in the park, Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston meet Rocky, Ricky, Bruno, and Antoinette. By appearances, it looks like the p
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson, is a nominee for the 2016-2017 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Mrs. Poodle loved her four puppies, Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La, and Gaston. Three of the puppies stayed very small, had lovely manners, and were very graceful. Then there was Gaston. Gaston didn't look like the other puppies. He had to work very hard to be like them, and things didn't always go his way. But they were a family, and they loved each other.

One day
Cathy Mealey
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Two little pups, as cute as can be, discover that family comes first, even when you must struggle to find your place in the litter. Kelly DiPucchio’s adorable GASTON doesn’t look like his poodle sisters Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo and Ooh-La-La but he works hard to master mama’s lessons in sipping, yipping and walking with grace. During a stroll through the park, Gaston encounters Antoinette, who doesn’t quite fit in with her rough-and-tumble bulldog brothers Rocky, Ricky and Bruno. Trading places makes the ...more
Jun 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kids, dogs, 2014
This book is intended to be all about how one should be themselves, unashamed. In that, it is a cute and well illustrated and written story.

On the other hand.... it's kind of also about stereotypes. The poodles are raised to be prissy and dainty and love pink, because that's how poodles should be, right? And the bulldogs are raised to be rough and boisterous and down and dirty, because that's how bulldogs should be, right?

It feels like mixed messages: Gaston and Antoinette are raised in the wro
Kristine Hansen
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm reminded of my Psych 101 class in college. Is it nature or nurture that makes us who we are?

Here we see a group of puppies, where one doesn't quite look or act entirely like the rest...and another family with an eerily similar situation. Figuring out just who you are or where you fit is challenging, even for a small child. They might understand more of what this book is saying that you expect.

Still, I'm a little unsettled by the solution to everything. Not sure why...but I just can't give th
An adorable, and easy to understand, story of finding your place in the world and working hard to enjoy being who you are. Fantastic opportunities for those reading out loud to create fun voices. Could be a great story to broach a variety of topics with children ranging from adoption/blended families, looking beyond feminine/masculine coding of activities to enjoy, and how striving to do the things we love might not come naturally but can be learned through diligence. All of that in a short simp ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Kids rated this 2 stars and mom 0. I just felt an underlying message being present in this book. Maybe it's because of the Supreme court ruling on marriage this week...I don't know...but I didn't care for this book. The kids had no clue of any underlying message. They just saw it as a book about dogs.
Kari Sommers
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite children's books of all time, I think. As just a story, it's entertaining. The pictures are fun, and my son had a great time looking at them. However, there is a great message about diversity and not judging people on their appearances. I think my 3-year-old is a little young to appreciate all that now, so we'll have to revisit it again when he's a little older.
Heather Dent
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
The illustrations in this book were very interesting to me. They were done with acrylic paints, but it looked as though they were done with Crayola markers. I liked the style very much. The best part of the book for me was the names of all the dogs. Fi-fi, Foo-foo, Ooh-la-la, and Gaston! I just about died laughing.
Juliana Lee
Simply adorable! Gaston doesn't quite fit in with his fancy poodle family, but when he tries to fit in with the rough and tumble bulldog family he finds it just doesn't feel right. Mrs. Poodle and Mrs. Bulldog agree. Gaston and Antoinette (a rough and tumble poodle) learn to be themselves even if they are a little different!
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Henrico Youth Boo...: Gaston 3 9 Nov 19, 2014 04:15PM  
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Kelly is the award-winning author of several children’s books, thousands of To-Do lists, and a few recipe cards. Two of her books, Grace For President and The Sandwich Swap, were New York Times bestsellers.

Like most kids who grew up in the 1970’s, Kelly had a pet goat and bought all her clothes from the Sears catalog. Like most teenagers who grew up in the 1980’s, Kelly had really big glasses and
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