Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Book Review: Frankie, the Walk n' Roll Dog, by Barbara Gail Techel

Frankie, the Walk n' Roll Dog
Barbara Gail Techel
Illustrations by Victoria Kay Lieffring
Joyful Paw Prints
Children's book, paperback, 49 pages
Age: 4 & Up

This is a beautiful, uplifting story about hope and overcoming challenges. It is also a brightly illustrated picture book that will touch and delight young readers.

Frankie is a miniature dachshund who lives a happy life with his beloved human parents and dog sister, a gentle chocolate lab named Cassie. Frankie spends his days learning to go potty, taking long bicycle rides with Mom, and visiting his favorite market, where he enjoys baked goods and flowers. He's the center of attention wherever he goes and kids love him. He also has two doggie friends, Olive and Baci.

For Frankie, life is beautiful, playing with his friends and soaking up the warm sun on the grass.

Sadness eventually knocks on the door: Cassie, his doggie sister, falls ill and passes away. But as it's often the case, the bad thing brings up a good thing, and soon Kylie, a labrador retriever puppy, comes into their lives. All seems perfect for a while...

Then the unthinkable happens: Frankie has a terrible accident. He suffers a spinal injury. Will Frankie walk again? Will he overcome his handicap? Will he be happy again?

Frankie's story is uplifting and inspiring! It is the perfect book to read to children in order to teach them not only how to overcome challenges, but also about compassion and the handicap. I found the illustrations, which appear to be computer enhanced, original and delightful in a simple, very modern way. The colors are bright and cheerful. This is the kind of story that may be enjoyed by both children and adults alike, especially by those people who love dogs. The book is longer than your standard picture book and has lots of text, so while you may not be able to finish it in one sitting as a bedtime story, you can read it to kids in short installments.

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