Hello, everyone! Paul here today with my review of JJ The American Street Dog, written by Diane Rose-Solomon and illustrated by Rachel Cellinese. I featured this book way back in early November. You can read that post here. Well, now I’ve read it, and I wanted to share my review with you. As many of you know I am a dog lover. This particular book found its way into my heart not only because it is about dogs, rescue dogs in particular, but also because the dog’s name is JJ. Well, I adopted a rescue dog we named JoJo so you can see my attraction. I must admit that I was not disappointed, and I even shed a few tears while reading it (that’s good, right?). Okay, I’m going to go straight to the review with information about JJ following.
What I liked best: JJ, of course! Seriously, I love this dog. There are so many things I loved about this book that I’m having a difficult time picking what I liked best, But if I have to choose, I choose the wonderful lessons the author weaves into the tale. There are so many dogs that are in shelters or on the street looking for their forever homes that this book is really important. Everyone loves a dog, and most people want one, but when it becomes more than just a cute ball of fur often times they are abandoned. This book not only tells us the story of JJ, but it highlights some important facts about dogs. For instance, Maya’s parents stress to her that a dog = responsibility before they ever agree to get one. This is so true. It requires a lot of work and commitment, but believe me when I say that you will be paid back tenfold for your efforts. Maya’s question to Dr. Welles is another case of the great lessons the author highlights. Maya asks why the dog was on the soccer field and not with a family. Dr. Welles response is a great truth that children AND parents alike should know. Sorry to go on and on here, but I just loved this book.
What missed a bit: Nothing for me to report here. I loved the entire thing.
Overall: Great. I shed my first tear around page eight. As I read the author’s words, glancing from the pages to the custom calender of my adopted dog JoJo (who we lost in July) on my wall I couldn’t help it. I must mention how great the illustrations are as well. Ms. Cellinese did a superb job. Every image of JJ brought a smile to my face, although the one of JJ jumping up and down with Maya on page 30 might be my favorite. I recommend this book to everyone. People of all ages will love this book, and percentage of book sale profits will go to benefit animal rescue organizations.
I have to include a special note here. I just loved the dedication to JJ at the beginning of the book, and I want to reproduce it here for everyone to read. Enjoy!
“To JJ, who opened my eyes and heart to homeless and abused pets everywhere. May each and every one find the loving forever home they deserve.”
– Diane Rose-Solomon
Okay, now as promised, a bit about the book: