Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Flourishing Friendships Forever

Once you've shared your life with a dog, you can't imagine spending the rest of your days without canine companionship.  Their presence adds a sensory quality to every experience.  You find yourself looking at this world with a fresh and better perspective.  You learn to live in the moment.

This relationship, unlike any other you have, is never long enough.  Each dog in your life grows the capacity in your heart for love.  Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners (Crown Books For Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, January 23, 2018) written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent with photographs by William Munoz chronicles the beginning and evolution of this exceptional bond.

Dogs and people, people and dogs---we've been buddies for thousands and thousands of years. 

In the first of three parts scientific discoveries and studies reveal dogs and wolves might have gone their separate ways as many as 27,000 years past.  This association may have started because humans offered easier access to food through garbage or perhaps communities realized wolves howled warnings when predators were near.  It is believed wolves and people may have hunted together. 

Wolves, and ultimately dogs, needed to relinquish certain habits and characteristics to reside with humans but they also retained other instincts.  Today specific dogs have specific specialties.  They will safekeep their pack, herd, hunt and retrieve. 

In the second section the affection we hold for dogs and they for us is explored.  Working with dogs and MRI machines, a doctor was able to prove a particular portion of their minds and our minds respond with happiness and love when given certain stimuli. (For dogs it's food and human family members.)  Petting dogs benefits them and us in powerful ways.  Their interpretation of human faces and our interpretation of barks and tail wagging make communication possible. 

Our time spent with dogs is constantly changing as we learn more about them.  There are doggy day care centers and day spas.  Dogs provide therapy for special needs and humans assist dogs with impairments.  Dogs and people play together, work together and love together in greater numbers than ever before in history.

Meticulous research is evident in the information provided by award-winning author Dorothy Hinshaw Patent.  She places facts within the twenty separate but combined conversations in the three parts.  Each is linked to the other in a comprehensible flow.  Here is a passage.

The Loving Touch
Doesn't it feel good to pet a dog, especially one with soft, silky fur?
Well, you're not the only one who feels good---so does the dog!
Petting a dog increases helpful hormones in both your blood and the
dog's, including oxytocin, which helps you feel relaxed, lowers your
blood pressure, and slows your heart rate.  

The front and the back of the dust jacket (I'm working with an F & G) supply readers with two portraits of dogs and younger people captivated by the company of each other.  To the left, on the back a boy dressed in a super hero costume is hugging his pooch pal who happens to be wearing a red cape.  They're both grinning.

The opening and closing endpapers are an extreme close-up of a dog's nose, whiskers and closed mouth.  Out of focus but still visible on either side are the eyes.  This is a nod to the superior senses of our canine friends.

Throughout this title the photographs of William Munoz showcase the closeness between humans and dogs and the qualities of wolves and dogs.  The images are grouped in collages, on single pages, placed as insets on single pages or span two pages.  There are comparative charts with photographs.  These photographs are fully animated, full of realism, humor and affection thereby enhancing the text. 

One of my many favorite pictures is beneath the title page for Part Two: The Science of Love.  Light is shining behind a woman holding her dog as if it is sunrise or sunset.  They are facing each other.  Both of their heads are thrown back and they are laughing.  It's a memorable moment beautifully captured by William Munoz.

Consistently one of the most popular collections is the one filled with books about dogs.  Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners written by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent with photographs by William Munoz will be a welcome and well-read addition to this portion of professional libraries and for personal collections at home.  A contents page, source notes for each part, additional sources (books and interviews with scientists) and an index complete this sixty-one page volume.

To discover more about Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and her other considerable body of work, please follow the link attached to her name to access her website.  William Munoz maintains a Facebook account highlighting his work.  At the publisher's website you can view the first twelve pages including the wonderful endpapers.

Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy hosted by Alyson Beecher to view the titles selected this week by other bloggers participating in the 2018 Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge.


  1. Using an article from National Geographic, From Wolf to Dog, I once had my students choose a breed and trace its history from the wolf, so fascinating to see why a dog becomes what it is today. This looks terrific, too. It is a wonder about dogs and people. Thanks, Margie!

    1. Your project with your students sounds intriguing Linda. It's the kind of research many would love. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent does not disappoint. You're welcome, Linda.

  2. A library book with photos of different breeds of dogs was on constant check-out at our house for a very long time. Sounds like now we could at least alternate it with this one! (The photographic depiction of dogs' senses on the endpapersounds amazing.)

    1. I think the fans of the dog breeds book in your home would really enjoy this book, Annette. The team of Patent and Munoz are well-known for their books.

  3. I can see this being a popular book. The dog-human connection is amazing. This book looks interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. That is a very sweet book cover - love it and your description too!