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*A Peaceful Mind: Travels with Moritz* by Barry J. Schieber, illustrated by Tracey Dahle Carrier
Also by Barry J. Schieber:

Moments of Wonder: Life with Moritz

A Gift to Share: The Story of Moritz

An Open Heart: A Story about Moritz
A Peaceful Mind: Travels with Moritz
by Barry J. Schieber, illustrated by Tracey Dahle Carrier
Ages 4-8 32 pages Silent Moon Books September 2007 Hardcover    

This is the fourth in a series of book about this beautiful, intelligent and kind Bernese mountain dog, Moritz, born in Switzerland. He lives with the books’ author, Barry J. Schieber. The dog has made a huge impact on the author’s life. Moritz has also become a trained therapy dog.

In A Peaceful Mind, Barry and Moritz go traveling in Europe. They stay in hotels, they eat picnics featuring cheese (which Bernese mountain dogs apparently favor), and they take mountain hikes. They even ride up a mountain in an enclosed gondola (Moritz prefers gondolas to escalators, he has determined). Moritz travels on trains and buses, as well, and hikes like a trooper. Being a large dog, he is often crowded into small spaces on these various modes of transportation, but he does not complain: "Big dogs don’t have a whole lot of choice. But I don’t mind."

Although once again Moritz provides lessons in life for his human companion, this book is my least favorite of the lot. The adage of “show, don’t tell” comes to mind. Overall, in this book, Moritz, despite a few inconveniences, is greatly enjoying himself. The lesson he teaches his human isn’t quite obvious enough, making this story is less magical than the previous three.

That said, it is still a good tale, expanding kids’ minds to other countries and ways of life. The illustrations are, as in the other three volumes, lovely. Schieber has worked with a different illustrator for each of his books; it is kind of him to spread the work around. (And who wouldn’t want to spend time with Moritz?) The cover painting on this one is especially beautiful, as is a charming two-page spread of Moritz’s front half and a great Dane’s back half; both dogs are boarding a city bus.

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