3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
A Spiritual Dog: “Bear” by J. Wesley Porter is a non-fiction children’s book about the author’s beloved rescue dog. In 2003, Mr. Porter and his family decided to get a dog so they visited a local animal shelter in Killeen, Texas. They fell in love with an 8-week old Shih Tzu mixed breed puppy named Bear and adopted him. An exuberant puppy, he thrived on positive attention and affection. The story moves forward as Bear grows into a medium-sized dog, with trips to the groomer, playing with the author’s two sons, and his penchant for chasing rabbits.
I enjoyed this heartwarming story. It has a personalized, scrapbook feel with the inclusion of adorable photos of Bear and the Porter family. The author’s boys, Daniel and Joshua, are featured playing with the dog in some of the photos; they were 11 and 6 years old, respectively, at the time the family adopted Bear. There are also a few whimsical illustrations that add a light-hearted, creative feel to the story. I would have liked it if more artwork had been included, as children love colorful illustrations in books.
The text is simple and easy to understand, with only a few sentences on each page. Children ages 7-10 would be able to read the book on their own, and parents or teachers could read it to the younger set. It would be a nice choice for storytime or a bedtime story as kids usually love books about animals. I also think they would be amused by the name Bear for a dog.
One of my favorite parts of the book was when the Porters added an above ground swimming pool and large shed in their backyard. It was very realistic that Bear was a bit shocked by this and needed time to adjust to the new additions. Dogs are creatures of habit and can get nervous and upset about the slightest changes.
Since Bear was adopted from an animal shelter, the story could spark an educational discussion about rescue dogs as well as getting children to understand the way dogs change as they age. For example, as Bear gets older, he sometimes has potty accidents in the house and his hearing isn’t as good as it used to be.
Although the author’s love for his dog shines through the pages, the writing is a bit flat at times. There are also several grammatical errors in the book, including inconsistent or incorrect tenses.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is a sweet story with wonderful photos of Bear during different stages of his life. I would recommend this book to children ages 3 - 10, but really anyone would enjoy this cute story.
A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"
View: on Bookshelves
Like bookowlie's review? Post a comment saying so!