Oz is the sweet, thoughtful puppy that has had a rough start to life. After living with families who cannot care for him properly, he struggles to trust people and is careful not to bark because it only causes trouble. He soon meets Patrick who teaches him to find his voice again, and Oz teaches Patrick about companionship during a difficult time in his life.
This book is an incredible work of art from beginning to end. Seeing the world from both Oz’s and Patrick’s points of view is a clever way of teaching the reader compassion and patience. It does not shy away from difficult truths of family life and the unfortunate reality of animal abuse in its many forms. The inclusion of music in this book is interesting; it is depicted as a tool for healing. Patrick understands this and uses his deep love for music to express what can’t be put into words.
The illustrations are some of the most exquisite to be seen in children’s literature. Hand drawn illustrations are presented on the pages as if the pencil has just been put down. The expressions of Patrick, his mother and Oz subtly relay what is beyond words. The art and language complement each other so expertly; you would not expect any less from former Laureates Colfer and Lynch.
A truly rare and touching book, The Dog Who Lost His Bark belongs in every school, library and home.