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Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#1 by bookowlie
» 08 May 2016, 09:20

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Spiritual Dog: "Bear" by J. Wesley Porter.]

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3 out of 4 stars
Review by bookowlie
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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"
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#2 by gali
» 09 May 2016, 11:04

Sounds like a sweet story. As a dog's owner, I can relate to it.The photos of Bear and the Porter family are indeed adorable. Thank you for the great review! :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#3 by bookowlie
» 09 May 2016, 11:18

Thanks! The story is a great way for kids to learn about what it's like to have a pet.
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#4 by LivreAmour217
» 09 May 2016, 12:34

Very nice review! This sounds like a great story for children. I actually lived in Killeen for many years, so it will be very cool to read a story that takes place there!
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#5 by bookowlie
» 09 May 2016, 12:41

Thanks Livre! Based on the photos, I am assuming the homes in Texas have nice, large yards? Lots of space for a dog to run around and play. :)
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#6 by LivreAmour217
» 09 May 2016, 18:51

bookowlie wrote:Thanks Livre! Based on the photos, I am assuming the homes in Texas have nice, large yards? Lots of space for a dog to run around and play. :)


Yes! Property values are lower in Texas than in many other states! It's very nice!
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#7 by hsimone
» 10 May 2016, 15:42

Great review, bookowlie! This sounds like a sweet story and nice read for children! :)
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#8 by bookowlie
» 10 May 2016, 16:52

Thanks for the kind words. :) It's a cute story for everyone, especially dog lovers.
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#9 by hsimone
» 10 May 2016, 17:36

bookowlie wrote:Thanks for the kind words. :) It's a cute story for everyone, especially dog lovers.

That'll be me! (Dog lover :D)
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#10 by bookowlie
» 10 May 2016, 18:01

Me, too. :) The funniest part of the book was when Bear became upset about the new swimming pool and shed. Our dog often does that with new things. When she was a puppy, my parents sent my son a balloon bouquet with candy after he had his appendix removed. Our dog was so scared of the balloons that she wouldn't go in the room where they were and kept barking at them. We finally had to put the balloons in the closet, and she still kept trying to peek into the closet. :)
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#11 by hsimone
» 11 May 2016, 02:40

Aw...dogs are so silly sometimes. Our dog isn't a fan of balloons either, but what gets to her is the vacuum more than anything else. Sometimes I'll just leave it out so she becomes a little less fearful and praise her when she approaches it. But, she'll back away and come back several times to see if it's still there. :)
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#12 by bookowlie
» 11 May 2016, 07:34

I think an essential part of being a dog is fearing vacuums. :)
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#13 by hsimone
» 11 May 2016, 11:01

bookowlie wrote:I think an essential part of being a dog is fearing vacuums. :)

:lol2:
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#14 by jport007
» 16 May 2016, 12:56

Thank you Bookowile for doing an Objective review. I am proud to tell my story about Bear and all the people he was able to touch in his 13 years of life was awesome. He was not a fan of vacuum cleaners at all :) Thank you.
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Re: Official Review: A Spiritual Dog: "Bear"

Post Number:#15 by bookowlie
» 16 May 2016, 15:33

Thanks for takingthe time to leave feedback. I was honored to read about sweet Bear and see all the photos of him as he grew up.
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