Design by Becky Terhune
Illustrated by Youlie Dessine
(Workman Publishing; $17.95; Ages 5 and up)
Are you a doggy parent or sibling who wakes up to your bestie sleeping beside you on the mattress? Do you hand out lots of treats during the day, and talk to your pets like any other “human?” If you answered yes, then you’ll be excited to welcome the keepsake journal The Very Best Dog-My Life Story As Told By My Human from Workman Publishing into your weekly journaling routine.
This colorful interactive keepsake will hook you with its six sweet dogs of various breeds staring at the inside front cover. It reads ‘This book belongs to:’ where the parent or child can insert their name. It’s followed by the amazing, incomparable, one-of-a-kind, best dog ever name. Parents may recall keeping the old-fashion baby book before photos were taken on cell phones replacing pasting pictures into books. This book is just as fun for jotting down memories of our beloved four-legged companions.
The Very Best Dog, packed with playful and inviting dog illustrations, begins with a spotted pooch smelling the inside of a tennis shoe and the words The First Time We Met heading the page. Children can practice writing by filling in what they love about their best friend’s tail and ears and then check off the special details about their buddy such as folded ears, floppy ears, or like my mutt, Eugene, a large whip tail that hits me every time he comes in for a hug.
People often ask me if my dog is really named Eugene? Well, there’s a page heading that reads What’s In A Name? and that’s where I would explain why we chose that name along with the top five songs with his name woven into the lyrics (My Google search found ‘Hey Eugene’ by Pink Martini and ‘Eugene’ by Sufjan Stevens).
Kids will enjoy pasting photos onto pages and writing about some of their favorite dog mood-lifting moments, a great exercise to do when your child is having a rough day. Every topic imaginable is ready to be explained including your dog’s eating habits and where you spend time together on weekends. It even covers your dog’s first training session with an illustration of a furry friend performing Downward Facing Dog on his yoga mat.
Dog families can begin journaling the moment their new family member trots into their home, paste photos of living together at two years, and their most adorable selfies. There’s a spot to note who cared for the pup when you left him behind on your family vacation, and another recalling the first time you traveled together. If you have special items to hold on to, there is a paw-printed envelope glued to the back of the book that allows for mementos.
This sweet, family-friendly journal is a great tool to bring out the creativity in your children and allow them to practice writing sentences. And when the book is put away and brought out years later, it will be a beautiful memory bringing both tears and laughter to your family. And cat parents, you have not been forgotten, The Very Best Cat is available for your chronicling pleasure.
To see more art by Youlie Dessine, click here.
- Reviewed by dog mom Ronda Einbinder