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Dusty the Island Dog Reviewed By Namta Gupta of Bookpleasures.com
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Namta Gupta

Reviewer Namta Gupta: Namta is a senior journalist based in New Delhi, India and has been covering news in all its form for past 5 years. An MA in English and Human Rights she is an avid reader and loves every piece of fiction and non-fiction that she can lay her hands on.

 
By Namta Gupta
Published on August 7, 2013
 

Author:  Linda Heavner Gerald

Publisher: Dorrance
ISBN:  978-1-4349-1764-5





Author:  Linda Heavner Gerald

Publisher: Dorrance
ISBN:  978-1-4349-1764-5


Ever wondered how a dog sees this world? Considered a man’s best friend, does a dog really has it easy in the world occupied by humans? What if a dog pens down its thoughts on the happenings around?

Surely, such a thought must have crossed minds of all those who love dogs. This book is an attempt to provide a glimpse of the dog’s mind and is written keeping the target audience, the children, in mind.

But after reading the book a reader would realize that confining this book to just a dog’s view would be grave injustice. Though the main character happens to be a sensitive and beautiful dog but the character could have been a kitten or any other animal as well. The book is a first person narration by an Island dog that sees herself alone in the world after the tragic disappearance of her mother. Her tryst with people (some good and some outright weird), her equation with another dog and in the end her understanding of life events complete the narrative. This is a book that would surely appeal to young kids as the writer has made sure to employ easy vocabulary and the cute graphics add to the value of this book. But there are certain things that can’t escape the reader; like the dog talking about ‘accent.’ Her musing about life in the end ‘humanizes’ the narrative of this dog. This leads, for a moment, to think that it is not the dog but a human, who has seen enough, who is speaking.

Another thing is that there was little interaction between Dusty and other dogs. It would have been even better if Dusty’s ideas about other dogs could be provided instead of her tryst with humans. The best portions, after all, of this book are the ones where dusty narrates about her dog companion and her mother. The cuteness and innocence that flows from the pen of the writer has the capacity to really melt anyone’s heart. But unfortunately, the writer was unable to keep the momentum going when Dusty encounters humans that are kind to her. It is here that Dusty’s cool detachment looks unreal because dogs, in common human opinion, are considered emotional and affable creatures. Their emotional equation with mankind does not get the space in this book which could have added more punch to the storyline. But all in all, the book makes for a good read and can be tried at least once.


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