'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 11 August 2018

Review: Next Door's Dog Has A Job

Tom and his dog Pepper enjoy games together. When Tom sees his neighbour Kate, and notices that her dog Bailey is wearing a yellow jacket, he wants to buy one for Pepper. 

Dad explains that Kate’s dog wears a special jacket because he is a working dog. 

The jacket tells people that his owner has a disability and needs his assistance. Although a person might appear well, without the Service Dog, they are unable to go about their everyday life.

Tom has so many questions for dad to answer and it is through his voice that we learn about the role of Service Dogs, how they are trained, what they are trained to do, and what breed of dogs are inducted into this special service.

This book has been created to draw children’s attention through discussion, to the importance of never approaching working dogs to pat or talk to them, for it distracts them from the vital work they do. Stressed is the outstanding role Service Dogs play in people’s lives which earns them the freedom to go anywhere. There is also a pronounced focus on the strong bond that is formed between owner and dog.

Author Gina Dawson is an experienced dog trainer, familiar with the needs of the disabled. Her motivation for this book was her frequent observation of children’s behaviour around working dogs, and how their spontaneity can unintentionally hinder the job these dogs are trained to do.

This is Vivienne Da Silva’s first illustrated book. Her bold and sensitive translation of Gina Dawson’s text heralds a promising career. Vivid, black outlined images work well against coloured pages as background. The importance of the characters’ role is visible as they tell their own story hand-in-hand with the words that relay the significance of the dogs’ story.

The book has an eye-catching cover both front and back. A picture of Bailey wearing his Service Dog jacket is an incentive for children and parents to look into the book and discover its contents, and then further research the role of working dogs for the disabled.
Title: Next Door’s Dog Has a Job
Author: Gina Dawson
Illustrator: Vivienne Da Silva
Publisher: New Holland Publishers, $16.99
Publication Date: April 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921024870
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book