I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure what the point of Gracie Jane by Janet Squires is. And, if you’re really looking at the book it seems to promote a rather bad idea rather than actually offering a good moral for children to learn. Sure, the artwork is good and I can definitely picture a lot of children giggling quite a bit at the antics of the dog throughout the story and it’s definitely commendable to help an animal find a place on a farm when you come across one, however, when you find a dog that has a collar and clearly has been named and belongs to someone else, keeping it for yourself is an absolutely horrid thing to do and I cannot believe that this idea was promoted in a children’s book.
What appears to be a book about a girl befriending a dog and trying to help her join farm life completely lost my respect the very moment that the girl read the dog’s name off her collar and never made a single attempt to discuss the fact that this was someone else’s dog who must have gotten lost. She doesn’t speak to her parents about it and then try to find a place for the dog in her life on the farm while her parents try to find the owner, she doesn’t make her own effort to find the owner. And I just had a really hard time accepting this.
I would never want a child to build upon the idea that they can just keep any dog they find, whether it’s a stray or not. There should have been something about Gracie making an effort to figure out where the dog had come from and return her to her owner. Either that, or it should have just been a dog that the family got on their own. And while the artwork of the book was great and the antics around the farm were interesting, the way in which Gracie Jane got the dog was just plain awful and pretty much ruined the entire book for me.
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.