The Dog Who Lost His Bark (Eoin Colfer; illus. by P.J. Lynch)

August 3, 2020 Book Reviews 1 ★★★★

The Dog Who Lost His Bark (Eoin Colfer; illus. by P.J. Lynch)The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer
Illustrator: P. J. Lynch
Published by Candlewick Press on Sept. 10, 2019
Genres: Children's Books
Pages: 144
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

A warm, uplifting story about a boy, his dog, and the healing power of music marks a first-time collaboration between two former Irish Children's Laureates, Eoin Colfer and P.J. Lynch.

Patrick has been desperate for a dog of his own for as long as he can remember, and this summer, with his father away, he longs for a canine friend more than ever. Meanwhile, in his short doggy life, Oz has suffered at the hands of bad people. Somewhere out there, he believes, is an awesome boy -- his boy. And maybe, when they find each other, Oz will learn to bark again.

Illustrated in light charcoal by two-time Kate Greenaway Medalist P.J. Lynch, this heartwarming story by Eoin Colfer, internationally best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl series, is certain to enchant.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Puppy dog tales…

I’ll be honest: I picked up The Dog Who Lost His Bark because P. J. Lynch illustrated it, and I love Lynch’s art. And it’s a cute and charming chapter book for a child. Told in third person, alternating POV between a puppy and his boy Patrick (and rarely, Patrick’s mother), the story touches on themes of animal abuse, family, trust, and love. Oz is totally endearing, and Patrick is as kind and caring a boy as you will ever come across. 

The Dog Who Lost His Bark would be a lovely book to read aloud to youngsters, provided they are old enough to deal with the traumas Oz experiences in his early life. It might be especially good for a family about to adopt a pet, and for children experiencing divorce. As an adult I found Oz’s habit of putting important words in all caps a little annoying to read, and the book’s messages a trifle heavy-handed, but I would have loved the story in my early elementary-school years.

The book is illustrated throughout with pencil sketches, beautifully rendered (as I would expect from P. J. Lynch.) I missed the beauty and warmth of his color illustrations, though; the only one is on the cover.

Recommended for: early chapter book readers; reading aloud 

four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Library Love Challenge 2020

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