Wild Thing and The Bagel

Children - Animals
44 Pages
Reviewed on 02/28/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Adanna Ora for Readers' Favorite

Dogs are the most popular pets in the world. There are also a lot of things to learn from them. Erin L. Neal highlights this in Wild Thing and the Bagel. A chocolate Labrador describes his experience with his human parents, including how he was adopted and treated in their house. Soon after, a new dog named Bagel joins him. What will Wild Thing’s reaction be? Will he see this new dog as a threat? Will they get along or cause trouble for their owners? Wild Thing and the Bagel is a fable beautifully told by Erin L. Neal in which we are exposed to a typical day in a dog’s life from the dog’s perspective. The author uses her real-life experiences with her pets to tell this story. Angie Buckman wrote the foreword, which shares the author's love of pets and affirms the goal of this book, which is to learn from the lives of pets.

In several ways, Wild Thing and the Bagel is a one-of-a-kind book. One reason for this is telling the story through the dog’s narration. I enjoyed the storytelling style; it is easy to read and understand, especially with a first-person point of view. One can also learn positive values like love, patience, friendship, and companionship. Using characters from her own life, Erin L. Neal makes the story more relatable. The images that help tell the story are also beautifully done. I loved this story because it brings to our awareness the nature of dogs and the fun of having a dog as a pet. I recommend it for every child, as it will build their imaginations and teach them wonderful things as well.

Savannah Aldridge

Celebrate the chaos and fun of rescue dogs with Wild Thing and The Bagel by Erin L. Neal. Wild Thing, the Chocolate Labrador, is so excited to be with his forever humans. He protects their house from leaves and statues in the yard, gobbles food out of hands during barbecues, and tackles those he loves the most—especially Brady, the boy in the house. When Brady moves away to school, Wild Thing is heartbroken. Then he meets “The Bagel,” a Basset Hound and Beagle mix who moves in and immediately becomes a pest. Wild Thing is hesitant at first, but he begins to warm up to The Bagel and shows her the ropes of being a dog in Brady’s family. Together, they undertake many canine adventures and see that two dogs can be even better than one!

Rescue dog lovers will not be disappointed by the charm of Wild Thing and The Bagel! Erin L. Neal’s illustrations show the bright, joy-filled world of living as a dog within a family. I appreciate the story being told from Wild Thing’s perspective, which imaginatively addresses the complex emotions of changing families. Wild Thing is deeply saddened when Brady moves away to school, and then is suspicious of the Bagel when she joins the household—all of which is evident in the expressive illustrations. The text is clear, and with multiple short paragraphs on several pages, I would put this book at a beginning to middle reading level for elementary school, and certainly recommend it as an addition to your collection!

Nino Lobiladze

Wild Thing is a chocolate Labrador. He was lucky enough to be rescued by a caring family that adopted him. Wild Thing now lives happily in a cozy home where everyone loves him, and Brady is his favorite human. They often play together, but Wild Thing is not allowed to follow Brady to the dirty baseball field. Nevertheless, there are still many amusing activities for a cheerful Labrador, like protecting Dad from leaves and rabbit statues while he is working. Suddenly, Wild Thing meets a new family member - The Bagel. His human parents tell Wild Thing that this new dog will be his sister from now on. But will Wild Thing accept her as a friend and playmate? Wild Thing and The Bagel by Erin L. Neal is a wonderful read for children and those of us who love dogs and find their shenanigans amusing and entertaining.

Erin L. Neal narrated Wild Thing and The Bagel from a dog's point of view. This unique perspective allows us to see ourselves through the loving eyes of our four-legged friends. I enjoyed Erin L. Neal's humorous writing style and how fondly she described the specifics of animal behavior. For example, Wild Thing ignores "that screen thing" and prefers a window to enter the house, which is hilarious. I liked the vibrant illustrations and the adorable animal characters. The Bagel is an independent girl that stands her ground when her human mom tries to put a Halloween costume on her. I believe that the positive message the book conveys is important. Neal shows her little readers how to be caring and kind not only toward their pets but toward each other. I hope that this book will inspire children to notice the personality quirks of their pets and to understand them and their needs better.