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Reviewed by Marie-Hélène Fasquel for Readers' Favorite
Levi Journey, An Unlikely Therapy Dog, written by Julie Laine Iribarren and illustrated by Martin Peers, is a magical story for young children. It is a true story and involves a lovely dog called Levi Journey. Levi Journey travels to be adopted by a new family and fulfill his destiny. This breathtaking account is a real gem. It will be loved by children as well as parents and educators. It is comprehensive and includes a short biography of two of the main characters (Julie and Levi Journey), a short text explaining what therapy dogs are and what they do, and actual pictures of the real Levi Journey!
Levi Journey, An Unlikely Therapy Dog by Julie Laine Iribarren is a heartwarming book telling a sad story that turns perfect in the end. It is similar to a fairytale and will allow kids to dream. The illustrations by Martin Peers are gorgeous, and I particularly enjoyed the little paws in which the page numbers are inserted! Everything about this book is engaging: superb drawings of the hero, a beautiful account, extraordinary characters. Levi Journey's life starts on the wrong footing. He is left alone in the forest, feels dreadfully abandoned, derelict, sad, loveless, and hungry. But he finally finds a new home with a kind-hearted family after a very long trip. Later, his potential is noticed and he is trained to become a therapy dog.
For those who want to go further, it is a pleasant introduction to animal therapy (also called "pet therapy") in general. Other species are used such as cats, horses, rabbits, donkeys, etc. The range gets wider every day to help people of all ages cope with physical and mental issues. They are seen in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, disaster areas, libraries, at home when needed ... the scope they deal with keeps broadening, and no doubt they are useful in times of stress and uncertainty. They are often accompanied by trained people and it has become a wonderful profession. To conclude, beyond the shocking drama of animals being cruelly abandoned, this story is pleasant, beautiful, and entertaining. It also makes children aware of what a therapy dog is. A storybook I warmly recommend!