Friday, 11 August 2017

Joyful Trouble by Patricia Furstenberg (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10E)

 April 2017, 146 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Book summary
When a Great Dane arrives in a WWII Navy base nobody expects him to win everybody’s hearts, although breaking some rules along the way. With challenges arising along the way, who will stand up for this four-legged gentle giant?

Nayu's thoughts 
You may be surprised for me to say I initially turned down reviewing this book, primarily as I avoid war stories like the plague as I find them upsetting and take them to heart too much. However, Patricia emailed back saying how much she thinks I'd like it, and the war part is only mentioned, not the main focus of the story. I then checked how long the book was, for if it was rather long my answer was still going to be no. However it's a short read for my quick reading speed (rhyhme not intended) so I gave it a go. I'm glad I did as it's really sweet! 

I loved how the story of Joyful Trouble was spread over several days for the children, which is realistic to how bedtime stories are told. I liked how childlike Tommy is, and how Ana loved him despite his getting carried away in puddles. Being able to handle a dog helped her grandfather handle Tommy, and tell the magnificent tale of who Joyful Trouble was, why he was a special Navy dog, and what happened in the end which made me rather teary. 

I do promise the war is only mentioned to put the story in context. As a love of all things military I enjoyed hearing about certain Navy rituals and why Joyful Trouble came to be in the armed forces, and how much trouble and joy (hence his name) he caused to his comrades. The children's grandfather was blessed to have known him, and the children were well cared for too. 

Find out more on Patricia's blog.  

Suggested read
Another war tale with a special animal in is the sequel to a Children's classic: Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

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