Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Want A Dog by Dayal Kaur Khalsa

My original attraction to this book was the front cover because it is a re-imagining of a famous painting by Georges Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. If I weren't going to be a teacher, I would have been an art history major, which is why this particular cover art appealed to me so much. Interesting thing though is that it is not the only major work of art featured in this book. Another is a famous Japanese block print entitled The Wave at Kanagawa.

Now on to the literary portion of this blog. All in all, this was a cute story with a good moral, but I didn't like it that much. I feel awful saying that but for some reason it just did not jump off the page for me in the same way that other books I have reviewed did. It wasn't that I did not relate to it because you could replace the main character's name with mine for most of the book and the shoe would fit. This was me last year: Meaghan wanted a dog more than anything else in the world. She thought about dogs all the time. She talked about dogs; she read books about dogs...It seemed as if everyone in the world had a dog except Meaghan. So what was it about this book that didn't click? I really don't know. Maybe it was the illustrations. They are detailed but sort of blocky. More than likely though it was how the book ended. I wanted May (the real main character) to get a dog in the end, and she did, but not in the way I thought she would. The author simply says In a couple of years, May did get a real dog of her own. Meanwhile, though, May and all her friends, kept practicing. I wanted her to get her dog right away.

This made for a morally sound story though. This book taught about not only the responsibilities that come with having a dog, but it also taught about more abstract concepts. For example, not giving up, which could be applied to more than just begging your parents for a dog. It taught about hard work when May saved up to buy a puppy. It taught about patience in that May did not get her puppy right away but she continued to show her parents what a good owner she would be. It also shows May gaining a good idea of how she will take care of her dog, and show her parents that she can be responsible by taking her roller skate for walks and such.

The library says all ages, and I agree! These lessons know no age limit.

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