If I had a young child, I would buy her books like One Incredible Dog! Boone.
Not only is it a good story, it is an important story, and
the graphite with watercolor illustrations are engaging. I
especially appreciate the multi-racial children.
Most kids love and want to live with dogs. But how many of them know that dogs are good for so much more than playing ball and cuddling on the couch --
seeing-eye dogs, hearing-ear dogs, therapy dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs? They may have seen a
seeing-eye dog guiding someone in their town, but they probably haven’t met the other dogs
with jobs unless a policeman has done a school demonstration with his German shepherd or Rottweiler.
Boone is a bloodhound, based on a real Boone (himself
named after Daniel Boone, an excellent human tracker), a search-and-rescue
dog. The real Boone earned his Canine Good Citizen status in
1999 from the American Kennel Club and has received several
awards for his work. Boone lives in Pennsylvania and helps
find lost people, fleeing criminals, and people in danger.
His favorite snack is raw carrots.
One Incredible Dog! Boone tells of this particular canine’s education, of three times he helps people, and of the good these trained dogs do in the world: “Search and Rescue dogs are helpful friends who do their special work after earth quakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, avalanches, building collapses, terrorist attacks, and other disasters,” writes Williams. Bloodhounds are large scent hounds; the breed goes back
many centuries. Weighing up to 130 pounds, they come in
three colors - black and tan, liver and tan, or red - have long, silken ears and make good family companions.
Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, more national attention
has been paid, rightly so, to these highly trained and
indispensable dogs, more than one hundred of which helped
find human bodies in New York and Washington. In fact, the author was inspired to write this book after those events.
When Williams later met Boone in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,
and watched him in action, the book idea solidified.
At the end of Boone, three websites are listed for more education on search-and-rescue dogs and on Bloodhounds. This is part of a series by Moo Press about the important work dogs can do;
an earlier volume was One Incredible Dog! Lady about a
therapy dog, also written by Williams.
Kids’ books like this are interesting, informative and important. They exhibit a positive attitude toward life,
and the more books a child can read about real animals, the more likely he/she will treat them kindly. Educating children about the individuality and contributions of animals can only help improve the reality of overpopulation and euthanasia of far too many dogs and cats in this country.