GRETCHEN THE BICYCLE DOG by Anita Heyman

GRETCHEN THE BICYCLE DOG

Age Range: 4 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A lesson in courage, tenacity, collaboration, and love is often the point of dog stories for children, but this true documentation of one dog’s adaptation in the face of a debilitating accident is all the more poignant. Heyman, author of two young-adult novels, incorporates her personal photographs of Gretchen’s life and lets the dachshund tell her first-pers . . . er, dog story, and their sometimes grainy, sometimes snap-shot quality enhances the personal connection of storyteller to dog to reader. Anyone who knows dachshunds knows how expressive, warm, and human they can be, like your favorite cat with a wag. They also know how susceptible their long spines are to injury. Gretchen hurt hers in an awkward landing and is shown overcoming depression and learning to get about again, albeit dragging herself on paralyzed back legs. Her loving humans provide her with a bicycle cart and harness and she learns to use it to scoot around outdoors. Life is not the same, but it becomes fun again while she finds new friends and admirers along the way. Thank goodness Heyman had the perspicacity to photograph the transition. Designer Tim Hall finds the perfect upbeat tones with background colors, drawings, and well-cropped snaps with crayon-traced borders. Children discovering Gretchen will not miss the life lessons of accidental injuries and the differences they cause. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-47066-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2003