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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Wisdom comes from age and maturity and a lifetime of experiences. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn as we age, mature and gain experiences. As a young puppy, Lucy hated standing (or sitting) still. She loved to run and she was the fastest of the litter. Although she’d be tired at the end of a day of running around, she still enjoyed listening to her mother read the family favorite bedtime story, “Tails of the Wise Old Beagle”, even if she still couldn’t sit still. Lucy was also full of questions, but that too was part of the learning experience, the gaining of wisdom. Lucy admired the wise old beagle in the bedtime story; she even related to the beagle in their shared love of food. If only Lucy could control her wiggles. When Lucy felt she was old enough, she left her family and went on a journey in search of the wise old beagle from the story. What she found instead was a wise old (and lonely) cattle dog. The two developed a lasting friendship and a bond, and Lucy learned some important lessons about herself as she matured and became a wise dog herself.
Life is definitely a journey, one of learning and experiences and looking for purpose and a meaningful existence. This is a difficult concept to share with young readers, but Christine M.B. Smith’s picture book story, The Adventures of Lucy the Cow-Dog: The Journey Begins, does a fine job of introducing some of these concepts. As well as being a charming little dog story, beautifully illustrated and full of wiggling fun, the story is a valuable tool to teach young readers about growing up and learning, working towards one’s wisdom. The plot develops steadily and leads the reader to a rather surprising conclusion. Full of love and compassion and some humor as well, The Adventures of Lucy the Cow-Dog is a fun read.