Saturday, July 6, 2013

Book Review: Mostly Bob (dog, memoir)

Mostly Bob, Tom Corwin (New World Library, 144 pages, 2006, $12.95, ages 8 and up)

Mostly Bob is a huge canine love story in a little red book.

What do Morley Safer, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Pryor, Joanne Woodward, Ian Dunbar, and Marc Bekoff have in common with me? We all love Mostly Bob!

Mostly Bob is a most unusual book! Have you ever read a book with one sentence per page, with flip-art so that when you rapidly flip through the pages of the book, the silhouette dog in the bottom right-hand corner wags his tail when you get to the good part of his life as he walks across the page? Just those experiences are worth the price of this little tome!

How does one person (Corwin) manage to live next door to a man who ignores his outside dog, Red – for nine years? A dish of dog food once a day, no human kindness, no contact, not even a bath. . . . .

Then Red, the golden retriever, perhaps realized that Corwin’s own dog had recently died, for Red comes over to Corwin’s yard for the first time ever. Over time, he eventually lies on Corwin’s deck, eventually gets fed, eventually gets a bath, eventually moves into Corwin’s house and home and heart.  Neither of them would ever be the same again. Neither will anyone who reads this little book.

Red becomes Bob.

How a dog can change his world and that of those around him, including those who read this little book is a love story of the canine kind.

I like to read children’s books about dogs to my dog Sam. Mostly Bob is one I read out loud. My golden retriever loves it, too!

I wish it were also a children’s picture book and a short story so that more people could have access to reading it, loving it and learning from Bob, one line at a time, one page at a time.

Children will especially like the dog silhouette on each page. Flipping through the book quickly makes the dog’s tail wag after he comes to live with and love Corwin. The little boy next door to me flips through the book over and over again as he tells me the story of Bob. 

Now he calls our Sam, Bob!

You, too, can be one of the many celebs and ordinary people who read the extraordinary Mostly Bob and love Bob’s inspirational life of patience and love - and fall in love with his memory and this loving tribute. I did.

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