Dasenka: As a puppy sees the world (a book review)

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by Tim Burdick on 04 August, 2013

Written and Illustrated by Karel Capek, this classic children’s story is divided into two halves.  The story starts with Dasenka’s birth. A puppy who is nothing but a ball of fur, a nose and eyes.  In the following chapters, Nature, the narrator, and Dasenka’s mother Iris all teach her to walk one leg at a time, run, eat and other doggies lessons. Some of them (eating well and maintaining good health) can be underlying messages for young readers. In the second half, the author uses rich language as he tells funny, truthful doggie fairy tales such as  “The tale of the dog’s tale, Why fox terriers root around, About Fox”, and many others as they give a dog's eye view of the world. 

Besides writing, Capek also drew and took charming black/white photographs of Dasenka.  This book exists in English and Czech. If you get the older Czech version, it has more photographs which give you a glimpse into a back garden world of a young puppy as she explores her surroundings, running, playing, climbing, barking, chewing and sleeping.

If you’ve never owned a dog, this book will give you a clear picture about the experience and if you have, this will take you back to your pet’s puppyhood with all the good and the bad. 

Ok, I hope that’s enough details to help you decide if you want to read this book or not. So, I leave you with this final thought which was inspired by Capek’s final line (in Dasenka):

Now go out and read. 

 

 

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