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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Gizmo is a cute little white dog, full of love and affection, who enjoys all those wonderful doggy kinds of adventures. But, sadly, Gizmo feels a little out of place and it’s all because he doesn’t have a tail. Gizmo wants to fit in; he doesn’t want to be different. He wants to be like all of the other dogs who can wag their tails when they’re excited and happy. And, for Gizmo, who is excited and happy all the time, this is a very important detail. So, what does he do? Well, he does his research and discovers that he will find his answer in a very special place, a place “where the deer and antelope roam, where bears, wolves, and buffalo, all call Yellowstone home.” And off he goes. He meets all kinds of wild animals, some with tails and some with feathers, and some with no tails at all, like Gizmo. But his most interesting visit is with a big grizzly bear, who gives Gizmo some very sage advice ... “to just do you. No one else can do it better than you can do.”
We live in a world full of differences and all of us, young and old, need to learn to accept all of our differences and to appreciate how unique we are, just as Gizmo is unique, tail-less and all. Heidi Phillips’s brilliantly illustrated book, Gizmo Goes To Yellowstone, is a real treasure. It is a tale of difference and it all has to do with a tail, or should I say a lack thereof. Told in rhyming verse, the story leads the reader on an adventure of discovery and learning what is really important in life: being unique and different and not being ashamed of one’s differences. The story is colorfully illustrated with charming paintings by a very talented young artist, River Wilson. At the end of the story is a travelogue of photographs of the author’s and of course Gizmo’s visit to Yellowstone. Beautifully told, beautifully illustrated.