Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
2.7
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
2.0
Learning Value 
 
3.0

A Charming Picture Book about a Forever Friendship

I don’t think I’ve ever read a dog story without either crying or grinning through it. GOBI: A LITTLE DOG WITH A BIG HEART was no different. Based on a true story, this sweet picture book is about how a scraggly little pup in the middle of the Gobi desert finds her forever friend in Dion Leonard. Dion is all set to win a long and arduous race across the desert when he finds the puppy running alongside him one day, whom he promptly names after the place they’ve met in. And that’s where she stays throughout the journey—right beside him, braving the most difficult conditions. At one point, the strength of their bond is tested when Dion has to choose between his friend and winning the race.
The story is simply told and achingly heart-warming, and will make for great classroom reading as well as something kids can snuggle up to before bed. I wasn’t overly fond of the art and the way the text has been laid out. I feel like there could have better text-image integration, but of course, this is a largely subjective view. The only other thing that didn’t work for me in the book is the beginning, which feels a bit rushed. I would have liked to know a little more about Gobi before she meets Dion. And though there’s an author’s note at the back telling us what happened to Gobi after the end of the story, I feel a bit of it could have been incorporated in the main narrative. But that could also just be me displaying Greedy Reader Syndrome!

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