Authors: Mark Condon and Julia Phillips
Illustrator: Sammy Schreiber
Publisher: Dutchess the Dog Press
ISBN: 978-0615764290

Dutchess is a very good dog, with a smile as wide as can be. She sniffs, she hears, she plays, she sleeps, but Dutchess the Dog cannot see. But that doesn’t matter, Dutchess sees with her heart and it’s open to all whom she meets. Like Mark, her owner, a kind man who loves her and walks her and gives her good treats!” Mark Condon and Julie Phillips rhyme in their children’s story, A Day with Dutchess: Life Lessons from a Blind Therapy Dog.

This forty-four page square paperback book is targeted toward preschoolers to early elementary school aged readers, particularly those who like dogs or are interested in animals or people that need help. With no profanity or scary scenes, the illustrations by Sammy Schreiber are friendly, cheery, and on almost every other page, set against brightly colored backgrounds. There is a fun “find” game at the end of the book along with acknowledgements, biographies, and linked charities.

Based on a true story of one of the author’s own dog, this tome is about a blind dog named Dutchess that loves to help others. One day while talking to her pal, Droopy, she learns her friend does not feel useful, so Dutchess invites him to go with her to the Autism Center to cheer up and work with the clients. Dutchess plays with, kisses, nudges, and is attentive to them.

Next the two dogs go to the animal shelter where Dutchess tells a kitty not to worry because someone will claim her as a new pet soon. They also visit the veterinarian and sample treats at a pet store that is owned by a woman in a wheelchair.

Besides helping with an adoption fair for lonely cats and dogs, the blind dog shows Droopy how important it is to help others and make a difference by looking out for friends and neighbors, including those in need. By promoting Canine Link, HeARTs Speak, and Dog Scouts of America, the book encourages donating to animal-loving organizations.

Although this special dog has limitations being blind, her cleverly rhyming story shows love, respect, and acceptance of others, especially those who are in need.

This book was furnished by KSB Promotions in lieu of a review based on the reader’s opinion.

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