In a complete breath of fresh air to children’s literature this is a book about a dog called Cosmo, told lovingly by the dog himself, through his eyes as a fundamental part of a family on the verge of separation. With an undeniable genuineness and phenomenal attention to detail this really feels like a book we have all been in need of and only now realise it.
With a Marley and Me vibe to it, this book follows Cosmo’s story as he endeavours to always be there for those he loves – his family with a special place for Max, the boy that Cosmo sees very much as a brother and whom he has known since a baby (over a decade ago) so there bond is unbreakable. Flashbacks to younger years help us build a picture of this immensely loyal, dedicated animal and see how he has changed over the years, age is an impacting factor for him now, making once easy tasks a little harder.
Cosmo’s approach to life is to seize the moment and gives it his all, a trait that is hugely commendable given the challenges he faces, which are echoed in his witty narrative. As the story advances we find that there are more bigger things for the dog to worry about whether it is the red eyed sheepdog that Cosmo is anxious around or that Max’s parents arguing is becoming more and more frequent, leading to Max and his little sister Emmaline becoming aware of the tension and upsetting them too, something Cosmo hates to see and longs to avoid.
In a book that uses concurrent themes of both the dog and the human characters we get to see Cosmo’s dedication at its best when he and Max decide to enter a dog competition that involves creating a dance routine. Putting aside everything he feels – including increasing pain in his paw and hips – Cosmo becomes infatuated with winning the competition, something Max is equally determined to achieve, the reason being they do not wish to be separated if Mum and Dad are and decide showing them how valuable the bond between boy and dog is will ensure they always remain together, after all a Dog is a Mans best friend.
There are so many different layers to this story to appreciate, all entwined around the love a dog has for his family, and it makes for an extremely compelling read with award winning content. The story takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions often sad for Cosmo who is unable to use words to explain how he feels much like Max, but also finding yourself laughing at the witty little comments Cosmo makes like suggesting Sandy from Grease has the same dog breed heritage as he does because they both have similar coloured hair!
To see the world from the view of the often overlooked house pet is a real treat – a bit like using VR for the first time – once you see it that way it encourages you to use your imagination and consider that whole new perspective of the world long after finishing the book.
Published by Nosy Crow on 1st August 2019 priced at £6.99 (PB)