Friday, May 14, 2021

Book Review: The Ambassador's Dog

Happy Friday! I hope you have a semi-decent day planned out. I have one mostly of errands, but Matt is only working a half day so he can come with me to do some but ALSO, we get to go have lunch together. We normally do a weekend lunch together but I'm not sure that will happen this weekend (or for the next few) and we're trying to scale back expenses, so this was kind of a nice last one for awhile. 

The Ambassador's Dog - Scott H. DeLisi

"The Ambassador's Dog" is a story of the power of serendipitous meetings, the power of dreams, and the power of hope. Written by retired career diplomat and three-time Ambassador Scott DeLisi and illustrated by award-winning artist, Jane Lillian Vance, it tells the tale of a puppy, abandoned and alone, who waited on a trail in what once was the ancient kingdom of Lo on the Tibetan plateau. And it's the tale of the man who was meant to cross his path.

It's more than just another dog story, though. It's an important reminder, at a difficult time, that there is compassion and courage and hope to be found in the world if only our hearts are open to seeing them.
Before I get into the story, can we talk for a hot second about this cover? The illustrations throughout this book, and the cover, are incredibly intricate and beautiful and they are absolutely worth mentioning. Illustrators don't always get their due, but I wanted to make sure Jane Lillian Vance does because these are gorgeous. 

Full disclosure, this book is marketed as a children's book and technically that's true; however, my youngest two children are six and four- they had a really hard time sitting through this. It most definitely is not a bedtime story, this is an involved story with detail and a more advanced story that I don't think younger children are going to completely grasp, or enjoy so much. Not to say this isn't a lovely story, because it definitely is, but as an adult I really enjoyed this more than they did. I do think this would be a really great book for the second grade and up group, perhaps as a classroom read where the story could be broken up into parts and there could maybe be a teacher led discussion. It would blow the kids' minds if you told them at the end of the book that it was all true. All of the incredible, interesting, heart hugging moments? True. 

It goes without saying that if you are an animal lover, this is going to grab at you differently than someone who isn't. Pet owners, especially dog owners, know that a dog is a special kind of pet, they become more like a companion. They feel emotions, it is clear they form incredible bonds with their owner, and I love it when an animal chooses their person. I mean, if a random animal came up to me and wants a hug? I am that lunatic hugging a random animal. I mean, Matt would be livid if I came home with another animal but honestly, how do you say no? I can't, it feels wrong. 

I also really enjoyed the education on cultural traditions in Nepal; I can honestly say I knew next to nothing about Nepal and the people of. Of course this isn't an in-depth look at it, but it is enough of a look to get children to ask questions, maybe make some comparisons to how we live here and how other cultures do things. I think opening those doors to new things is such a huge part of childhood and part of our role as parents, educators, role models. Anything in that realm is good in my book. 

A huge thank you to DartFrog Books and Scott H. DeLisi for having me on this tour and providing me with a copy of the book for review. This is probably one of the prettiest children's books I've read in quite awhile. The Ambassador's Dog would make a really beautiful gift, perfect for someone building their child's library. 
This post contains affiliate links.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I love that you gave the illustrator a shoutout! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love your review; very passionate and detailed. :)


p.s. Hope you had a nice lunch with Matt! I've been pretty busy this whole weekend. Fun things, but I'm exhausted.

Laura's Reviews said...

This looks really interesting. I love the cover and I love books about dogs!

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Very interesting... I wonder if my nephew would like it?