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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Oliver Gilmore is a dachshund puppy with a lot of spunk, energy, and zest for life. His Dad adopted him when he was six months old and the two have been together for some time, sharing all kinds of adventures at home, on boats, on trains, and even on airplanes. They’ve been to a lot of interesting places – always together. When Oliver Gilmore develops diabetes, however, things change. His diet is different and his treats are different and fewer. He also has to have shots twice a day. But, the important thing is that Oliver Gilmore is still together with his Dad, the one who frequently sings a special song, just for his pup: “You make me smile and you I adore./ How lucky we are to be side by side.”
Greg McGoon’s picture book story, Oliver Gilmore: A Doxie’s Diary, is a gentle, compassionate story about a sweet, adorable dog named Oliver Gilmore. The plot moves through adoption to shared adventures and the unbreakable bond that develops between pup and Dad. When Oliver Gilmore is diagnosed with diabetes, the bond grows stronger. The story is told in the first-person narrative, from none other than Oliver Gilmore’s point of view. This allows the reader to easily associate with the pup’s feelings and concerns as he grows up and develops a disease that, thankfully for him, was treatable, but did change his life somewhat. For children with diabetes, this story will certainly help them understand that they might have a condition, but they’re still important, loved, and cared for, just like they were before their diagnosis. With beautiful illustrations (I especially like the cover), this story will appeal to young readers and teach them how important it is to realize that we all are different but still loved like Oliver Gilmore.