Title: The Dog Who Lost His Bark
Author: Eoin Colfer
Illustrator: P. J. Lynch
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s fiction
Book format: Paperback
Description: Patrick has been desperate for a dog for as long as he can remember. A dog he can play with. A buddy. A friend.
In his short doggy life, Oz has suffered at the hands of some bad people and no longer knows who to trust.
When Patrick finds Oz, he is determined to coax a bark out of the silent, frightened puppy. And it seems that music may just hold the key.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: Aww, this is such a sweet tale and the perfect one for anyone who loves animals or dogs! ‘The Dog Who Lost His Bark’ is a lovely children’s book filled with text and grey-coloured pencil illustrations throughout. The story begins with Dog, who is just a puppy and lives with his mother and the other puppies and is scared of the man who looks after them. The man is always shouting and when Dog is finally adopted by a new family he thinks it will be great, afterall his mother said it would be so. But when Dog doesn’t understand some basic commands and barks at his new boy, he is treated badly which leaves him scared of trusting humans ever again, and afraid of ever barking again.
Patrick a boy who is staying, along with his Mum, at his Grandad’s house for the summer is thrilled when he is told they can get a new dog. But the new puppy that Patrick has picked is scared and doesn’t want to engage with anyone, that is until he hears some music. This really is a sweet and lovely story and follows two different perspecitives, one is Dog’s perspective and the other is Patrick’s, although all told in the third person. Getting to know Dog’s (or Oz as he’s later known) story first, you instantly feel for this poor animal. The way the story is told, with some words that Oz understands written in capital letters makes his story more special and sad as you see just how badly he is treated. It’s a sad but true depiction of how some animals are treated and a good depiction of how dogs feel when humans don’t treat them right and I like the way this was written.
As the story moves on we learn more about Patrick who has his own problems, like Dog/Oz has. The tale is quite simple with the family all trying to help bring Oz out of his shell and teach him to bark again. At the same time there is a story unfolding with Patrick’s own family and his dad who is constantly away in Australia, and both Oz and Patrick end up having moments where their whole world is turned upside down and they both end up heartbroken. I like the way the book finishes, I won’t go into detail but both Patrick and later Oz find a way to bring about happiness in the other again, and all done with music. The way Patrick’s story resolves is both realistic but also such a lovely and happy ending which makes this all the better as some kids going through the same experience he is, will see that their own situations can end happily.
The illustrations are really why this book is so heartwarming and special. They look like pencil drawings and are very realistic. There’s an old-fashioned feel to them and yet they really work and make this story really touch the heart. Oz the dog looks so sweet and you can see the expression of sadness as well as pure joy on that dog’s face in the various images and all the pictures just really add to the story and make you want to pick this up again for the pictures alone.
This really is a very lovely story and a feel good tale too! I would recommend it to anyone, both children and even adults looking for a story that’s so heartwarming, but be warned, it might spark a keen interest in wanting to get a dog after you read it…It’s made me want to get one myself now, lol!
Do you like this book? What special doggy friend or other animal friend have you got, or wish you had? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂