Japan Kids Enjoy Reading Books to Attentive Canines

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Children read books aloud to dogs Saturday during a book club event at a prefectural library in Tokushima.

The library, in collaboration with non-profit organization Assistance Dogs Tokushima, organized the event to give children an opportunity to enjoy reading while interacting with canines. The “reading dogs” have been trained to interact with people, and approximately 10 children from the prefecture participated in the event.

After receiving advice regarding certain points — such as “not raising their voices too loud” and “not staring directly into the canines’ eyes” — the kids petted and hugged the friendly pooches while reading aloud from self-chosen picture books. The dogs listened quietly, wagging their tails.

City resident Natsuka Sato, 9, brought along a book titled “100 Kaidate no Ie Mini” (100-story house, mini). “This is my favorite book,” she said. “I often read it when was little. I felt happy with the dogs listening by my side.”