Why So Many Rules?


Children - Animals
32 Pages
Reviewed on 05/08/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I am a retired kindergarten and reading intervention teacher. My husband, Bill and I live on 1/2 acre in a small incorporated area in Central California. We own three dogs, Kiwi, our flighty mini-Aussie, Kona our unique blended pup, and Kali our little (runt of the litter) golden. I grew up in a family of story tellers. My father, and my uncles always had a tale to spin. I think it rubbed off on me. That and reading stories to my two children before tucking them in at night, my grandchildren before they take naps, and the many students throughout my teaching career have inspired me to be creative, dream a bit and write for children. Kiwi’s story has morphed over the years from a memoir, to an entertaining picture book about a flighty little Aussie, who learns a life lesson along the way. A lesson for all young children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

It’s rule number 5 that gets Kiwi: “Stay in your yard.” Kiwi is a mini-Aussie puppy, full of energy and curiosity. The list of rules is posted on her doghouse. She agrees with them all, only she has a short memory like most puppies (and children, too). She has no problem with leaving the flowers alone and not digging in the yard, but when a butterfly attracts her attention and flies away over the fence and out of the yard, what’s a curious little puppy supposed to do? She doesn’t dig her way under the fence. Well, not really. But she does get out and she’s sure she knows where she’s going and how to get home again. She knows she’s forgetting something and all the five’s she passes on her jaunt to catch the butterfly fail to remind her of one very important rule!

Kathleen Gorman’s picture book story, Why So Many Rules?, is a sweet story about a puppy who doesn’t like rules. What puppy, or child for that matter, does like rules. Kiwi thinks there are too many rules, but there are only five and it’s the number 5 rule that she conveniently forgets. The plot follows Kiwi’s adventures after she’s read and agreed with the list of rules. The young reader will be chuckling along as Kiwi gets further and further away from the safety of her own backyard. With colorful illustrations and lots of excitement, including lots of five’s to teach young readers some numbers, this story will be a favorite to read along with a grownup or read all by oneself. Great lessons are being taught, especially the importance of staying where Mom and Dad can find you: in your own backyard!

Jessica Barbosa

Why So Many Rules? is a children’s book written by Kathleen Gorman and illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire. Kiwi is a mini Aussie puppy that lives in a dog house in 195 Labrador Lane’s yard. She has to follow five rules posted on her doghouse’s door. The rules are: do not dig holes, do not eat flowers, no barking, remember the number on your house, and stay in your yard. Kiwi is determined to follow the rules, but an intruder in her yard distracts her. Will Kiwi follow the rules posted on her door? What will happen if she doesn’t?

A fun and engaging story, Why So Many Rules? tells of Kiwi’s adventures after she finds a list of rules posted outside her doghouse. Kathleen Gorman exhibits admirable skills in her ability to capture the reader’s attention from beginning to end. This entertaining, light reading is something parents can use to teach some valuable lessons. Bonnie Lemaire’s beautiful and eye-catching illustrations bring Kiwi’s story to life and add color to her fun adventure. I truly found it funny and delightful when Kiwi reads the rules with the intent of following them; however, she forgets them the moment she sees a pretty butterfly. As she gives chase to her yard’s intruder, she unknowingly breaks all the rules posted on her door!

This is a wonderfully amusing story that I feel kids, and anyone who picks it to read, would enjoy and maybe even relate to. Kiwi is a determined dog and through her actions, I was able to learn very important lessons. Kiwi’s story has taught me that rules are there to help and guide you. Most of the time, rules are made with the benefit of those who follow them in mind. Therefore, sometimes there can be consequences when you don’t follow them. Kiwi learns to understand the importance of rules by the end of her unexpected adventure. Kiwi-the-rule-breaker's last line to the pretty butterfly ("if you're going to stay, we really need to talk about rule number 5") had me laughing out loud. What a way to end the story. Kiwi is truly a one-of-a-kind mini Aussie puppy, and Why So Many Rules is truly a remarkable story.

Cheryl Schopen

Why So Many Rules?, written by Kathleen Gorman and illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire, is about a dog named Kiwi. Kiwi’s rules that she has to follow are posted on her doghouse so she always remembers. She is a good puppy. She may not understand why she has so many rules, but she recites them and knows she must follow them...until she sees a pretty butterfly, which distracts her. Not only does she start breaking the rules, but she also gets lost! Can she find her way home? Will she learn the importance of rules?

I was instantly drawn to the beautiful, colorful illustrations. Children, and adults alike, will appreciate the lovely images on each page. After reading this book, my first thought was that this would be the perfect story to read during the first week of school in my elementary classroom. While students are learning the rules of the classroom, they will be able to see how rules benefit us by using this story as an example. I absolutely love the message this book sends. At some point in all of our lives, we have questioned if so many rules are really necessary, whether it’s at home or school or even work. I think this very relatable and cute story shows that it is very necessary to have rules. If Kiwi had followed her rules, she wouldn’t have gotten lost. But she sure did learn her lesson. With a great life lesson told from the point of view of an adorable puppy, Why So Many Rules? by Kathleen Gorman is the perfect book for any child.

Lois Henderson

The warm-hearted rhyming picture book, Why So Many Rules?, written by Kathleen Gorman and illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire, is a delightful romp through puppyhood. Kiwi, an exuberant miniature Australian Shepherd Dog, feels overwhelmed by the number of rules that she has to follow, even though she whiffles her nose at them, thinking that she wouldn’t even dream of doing any of the things that she’s told not to do. However, when the opportunity arises, she uses her ingenuity to get around them anyway. How enterprising, we might think, but when flouting the rules lands her in trouble, both she and the reader start to realize―those rules were put in place by some very wise folk.

Retired reading specialist teacher Kathleen Gorman’s Why So Many Rules? is a highly entertaining work that contains a great deal of fun, with its bright, bold colors, but also a smart educational message for its target audience of 5- to 10-year-olds. As well as implicitly teaching children the importance of following rules, Why So Many Rules? also shows them how they should train their own puppies in line with five basic rules: don’t dig holes; don’t eat the flowers; no barking after dark; remember the number on your house; and stay in your yard. Gorman’s knowledge of dogs comes from her love for them―after all, she and her husband own three and are clearly au fait with both puppy and child-rearing. Bonnie Lemaire’s illustrations bear witness to her avowed lifelong passion for depicting comical and curious characters and creatures―I couldn’t help but relate to Kiwi from the very start, as I’m sure will other readers!

Kathy Golden

Why So Many Rules is written by Kathleen Gorman and entertainingly illustrated by Bonnie Lemarie. It is a story filled with all the energy, exuberance, and curiosity of a rambunctious little dog named Kiwi. Like many children and adults alike, Kiwi is trying to follow the rules. She has been given five of them, and, with serious determination, genuine intent, and a bit of scoffing, she plans to keep them all. Her perspective is a wonderful place to be in as she reads the rules and expresses all the reasons why she will have no trouble with them. I won’t share her rules, but I will say she finds the idea of breaking one rule, in particular, disgusting. Another rule, which she considers unnecessary, causes her to exclaim, “How rude!” In fact, she gives the impression that she doesn't need the rules because she already knows better than to do what she’s being told not to do. Yet, restricted to the confines of her yard while so much life is taking place outside her fence proves to be quite a challenge.

Bonnie Lemarie’s illustrations welcome readers into Kiwi’s world with large, colorful illustrations that are as active and as energetic as Kiwi herself. Kiwi’s collar has a wonderful red heart dangling from it; her eyes are bright and happy, and she looks well-loved. The images and text are perfectly synchronized and easy to follow because the two are side by side. I’ve not seen this setup in many children’s books, and I liked it very much. In Kathleen Gorman’s Why So Many Rules, ultimately, Kiwi learns some important lessons about herself, about the need for the rules, and why it’s important to keep them. This great little book is a masterful way to teach children these same lessons.