Oscar by D. L. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love animals so the cover of this book with that gorgeous picture of the Collie (mix?) really grabbed my attention. 'Oscar' by D.L. Smith is a short (64 pages, 619 KB) Children's Book that was enjoyed by all of us here from ages 6 to 60 and it is told in the first dog. What I mean is the story is told as if the dog is telling it, the dog's perspective of what is happening all around him.
Oscar the dog had a very hard beginning in life from the day he was born. His intended fate and those of his brothers and sisters happen all too often and is totally believable. Lucky for Oscar, he was found by a little girl on her way home from school and the family nurtured and cared for Oscar. As Oscar grows and meets new challenges, including the interaction with other people and animals which is adorable, and what to do and not do, the proper 'training' is enforced so Oscar learns new skills and has new freedoms. Unfortunately, once again Oscar is faced with possible death due to an accident which shows that no matter how careful you try and be or how much love you give/have, accidents happen.
What I love about this story is that not only does it make the reader aware about how some people are cruel, it focuses on the love and caring of others. It doesn't sugar-coat the bad but instead it focused on a particular family (and friends) that talk about and share the responsibility of the proper care for, and of, Oscar as he grows. I especially liked that the family discussed how certain things can confuse a dog if you're not consistent with the training and how some methods are just not the right option and can be dangerous so other methods should be used. It also brings the dog to life as a thinking, feeling, creature and should be treated as such.
It also portrays a realistic family. The characters although they are not deeply developed since this is a children's book and the main character is the dog, the family is basically a typical family found anywhere: the children argue, they play, they have their likes and dislikes. Even they grow up along with Oscar (they follow the same timeline in human years) and although Oscar can't go with them everywhere they go, he is still every bit a part of the family.
I recommend this book to every family who has or is thinking of getting a dog. Also, to those who just like reading a cute, well told story with valuable lessons that promote thinking and discussion.
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