[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Me, My Dog and a Sheep” by Melissa Mullamphy.]
4 out of 4 stars
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Me, My Dog and a Sheep by Melissa Mullamphy is a story of hope, faith, and perseverance. In this book, the author shares her family’s real-life experiences with their dog, Grizzy. It is 52 pages long and belongs to the Children’s book genre.
The book begins with a four-month-old dog, Grizzy, being ignored by all customers at a pet store due to his age. One day, Luke’s father selected Grizzy and gave a two-year-old Luke his new best friend. A few years later, one day, when Grizzy could not stand, the family took him to a doctor and discovered that Grizzy needed surgery, after which, Grizzy was left paralyzed. The rest of the book describes the struggles of both Grizzy and the family, as they cope with the situation and do everything that they possibly can for Grizzy’s recovery, despite knowing that there are bleak chances of success. Will Grizzy be able to walk again? Will Grizzy and the Family’s tireless attempts prove to be successful? Will Luke be able to play with his best friend again? More importantly, how is a sheep relevant to the story? Read the book to find out!
The story is told from Luke’s perspective. Luke’s thoughts and feelings are expressed in a manner that would enable anyone, but specifically, children, to connect with him and hope for the best for him. Further, the author has included numerous pictures of the real dog and family (who the plot is based on) which made me extremely involved in their story. As a result, to be honest, I doubt any reader would be able to read the book without hoping and praying for the best.
As I read through the book, I found it to be an emotional roller coaster. The first page included a real image of the dog, and I felt like I could see the pain in his eyes. As an animal lover, that picture had a large impact on me. Towards the beginning of the book, the author described how “sad and abandoned” the dog felt when every customer walked by him and did not select him. At that point, I could almost feel the dog’s pain. As the plot moved ahead, it was inspiring to read how, despite every failed attempt, Grizzy and the family never gave up. They did everything they could, at every step. Without giving away any spoilers, I can mention that the end was also emotional.
In terms of language, I thought that the book was well written. The vocabulary and sentence structures were simple and I found no word that, in my belief, a child would not understand. The book seems professionally edited and has been formatted as well. There were large, full-page illustrations on every alternate page. The illustrations were simple but appropriate with regard to the text they represented. Overall, I thought that the book was very easy to understand and follow.
I have no major issues with the book. One thing that I did not expect was that all the pages had a blue background. It took me a little time to adjust to the background and its contrast with the black text. However, eventually, I got used to it and it did not bother me much. However, this is not a major issue, and many readers might actually like the blue background.
I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. I thought that it was well written and had an important message for children – not to give up. After finishing the book, I felt good about having read it. To me, that is a definite sign of a great book. While I would definitely recommend the book for children, I would also recommend it for animal lovers of any age group. If you love animals, this is a book that you will not regret picking up!
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