My Two Dogs —Their Two Stories (Two Complete Books in One) by Christina J Donato presents two beautifully crafted and brilliantly illustrated stories of two dogs, Belle and Grady. In The Saddest Dog Finds a Friend, Belle is a lonely, sad dog. Everyone in her home is too busy to pay attention to her. As she learns to play by herself, she ventures out into the street where a curly-haired boy takes an interest in her and brings her to his home. While the boy is caring and loving, Belle misses her old home and is unsure about what happens next. But posters promising a huge reward for getting Belle back home also make the boy indecisive about whether to keep Belle or let her go in exchange for the huge sum of money that can help him buy a bicycle.
In The Dog Who Wanted to be Human, we meet Grady, a dog that has always wanted to be human. He has always wanted to eat part of the food in the family and takes every opportunity to steal human food. He has a dream in which he is transformed into a boy and while he struggles with his desire for food, he also experiences the disappointment of having a new member in the family. He is awakened from his dream to discover he is still a dog. But he has learned many lessons from the experience of being a boy— even just in his dream.
Christina J Donato’s My Two Dogs —Their Two Stories (Two Complete Books in One) is a story that is as emotionally rich as it is entertaining. Children will enjoy the adventures of Belle and Grady as they navigate complex situations and evolve in the world of humans. The narrative is filled with humorous moments and it is never lacking in lessons that children and adults will think about as they grow. For instance, Grady’s fascination with humans and their food will lead him to a path of self-discovery and acceptance after knowing that he cannot deny who and what he really is. His dream experience as a boy leaves a strong insight into what it means to connect more intimately and deeply with our personality and nature. Themes of friendship, family, parenting, adventure, and dog education are intelligently developed in these two stories. The characters are elaborately written and the author’s expert use of anthropomorphism lifts the quality of entertainment and plunges readers into a world that is familiar.