20 June 2011

Library staff book review: "Just a Dog" by Michael Gerard Bauer

Shortlisted in the Younger Readers category of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards, Just a Dog by Michael Gerard Bauer is presented as a series of journal entries or short tales about the adventures of Mister Mosely, the much loved pet of young Corey and his family. As Corey writes in his journal we learn of Moe’s adventures and although the tales at first seem random, it soon becomes apparent that there’s an underlying story here about a family struggling through difficult economic times.

Although he’s just a dog, and a gangly, dopey looking one at that, Mister Mosely (or Moe as he is affectionately known) is so much more. He is ever present within the household and depending on the situation provides friendship, protection or comic relief to both Corey and his parents.

The beauty of this tale is that it could be about any pet dog because Moe is so ordinary. As young Corey says ‘he didn’t have any special super powers and he didn’t go around rescuing people or catching bad guys the way that police dog on TV does’.

This is a touching story that will have some readers reaching for the tissues. It would be suitable for newly independent readers who will be able to relate to Corey’s love for Moe and the special bond that can form between a child and a pet. Even if you’re not a dog person I think you’ll love Just a Dog.

Click here to borrow Just a Dog from Libraries ACT.

You can also borrow other titles by Michael Gerard Bauer.