The Dog and The Bird
by Jonae Randau
Trafford Publshing

"The small dog would again gaze upward toward the heavens, and just like that the bird would appear with its newest song."

This is the story of an uncommon relationship between a woman named Josie, her little black dog Desie, and a harmonious songbird. Lovable Desie develops an unusual closeness and concern for the small winged creature that makes a home in the large tree outside Josie's apartment. Desie happily listens for the sweet melodies of her new feathered friend, shares its taste for breadcrumbs, and chases away stalking cats. But when the branches of the big maple are about to be trimmed, threatening the sanctity and safety of the nesting bird family, Josie comes to the rescue in a feel good, triumphant outcome, that speaks of friendship, family, community, and honor.

With a warm and welcoming touch, the book opens with several paragraphs of autobiographical text before the actual story begins. Here the author shares childhood memories of growing up in the Midwest with her parents and siblings, thoughts about her education, and reflections on the strong family foundation that contributed to her positive outlook on life.

While the overall thematic of this story is well-developed and would provide pleasant reading for younger age groups, unfortunately the extremely lengthy sentences might prove a bit overwhelming for some readers. For a younger child being read to by an adult, Randau's work could benefit from illustrations. In a very simple format, the pages are limited to a replicated pastel wash background, with a soft image of a dog in each upper left corner, and then complimented by a small bird silhouette perched at the center of the lower border. Perhaps it is the author's desire to attract an older audience ready to move away from the traditional flash and gloss of picture books. Randau's fluid writing will readily conjure visual imagery for the minds of those young individuals ready to take on more lengthy narratives and dialogue. With this intent, the author's meaningful tale definitely serves its purpose.

Return to USR Home