Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review: Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog

Summary: Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog is a true, inspirational story about a dachshund whose life started out like any other dog walking on all four paws. For the first six years Frankie’s life was pretty normal. She played with her chocolate lab sister, Cassie and rode in a special basket on her mom’s bike visiting the local farmer’s market every Saturday in the summer.

On Easter Sunday 2006, Frankie’s life changed forever when she ruptured a disk in her lower back. She endured physical therapy and acupuncture, but after three months it was determined she would not walk again. Frankie was then custom fit for a dog cart, similar to a wheelchair for people. With just a few dog biscuits to entice her, she was soon moving down the road, holding her head high and rolling along with pride.

The story is told in Frankie’s voice which instantly forms a friendship between Frankie and the reader. Frankie’s zest for life will have you cheering and she will give you hope that all things are possible. She will leave an everlasting and loving paw print on your heart. A book for all ages to teach overcoming challenges and also compassion for the physically challenged. --Joyful Paw Prints

FRANKIE THE WALK 'N ROLL DOG by Barbara Gail Techel and illustrated by Victoria Kay Lieffring is a true story about a miniature dachshund who becomes paralyzed and learns to walk again with the help of a cart with wheels. It is a very heart-warming read, and kids will fall in love with Frankie. This book has already won numerous awards including a National Best Book Award by USA Book News, an Indie Excellence Awards Finalist, and an Editors Choice Award from Allbooks Review.

Since the story is told by the dog Frankie, I think children will especially like getting Frankie's insight into her life. The book begins when Frankie is just a puppy and gets adopted by her Mom Barbara. Frankie shows the children how normal her life was prior to the accident that left her crippled. Frankie then explains how she got hurt, her attempts at rehabilitation, and eventually her ability to lead a normal life again!

I really like the positive messages in this story. Frankie's story tells us that good things can come out of bad. Even though Frankie was paralyzed, her owners found a creative way to give her a normal and happy life. I think this story will also give children a better understanding of disabilities and hopefully give them more compassion to those who are less fortunate. In addition, I liked that the book showed how hard Frankie had to work in therapy while trying to recover from her injuries. This book definitely gives children and parents (or teachers) some wonderful things to discuss.

Late last year, Frankie and her owner became a registered therapy dog team. They work with the elderly, hospital and hospice patients. I think it's absolutely wonderful that they are helping to improve people's lives while also sharing their message. I wouldn't be surprised if Frankie decides to "write" another book about her new experiences as a therapy dog.

There is a fantastic website devoted to Frankie. You can order the book or even an activity book; and you can sign up free gifts. While you are there, you can also find resources that will tell you more about living with handicapped pets. There are also links to Ms. Techel's blog as well as lots of media information.

While I really liked the overall messages in this book, I wish that this book would have been a little shorter. I think my son who is almost five is the perfect age for this book; however, it ran on the long side for him. This picture book was almost 50 pages and there was a lot of text on each page. He wasn't able to sit through the book in one sitting and I even found him losing interest on the pages with lots of words. It's possible that my little guy is the only kid who had these issues, but I would have liked to have seen a book that was better suited for reading aloud in the classroom because I do think this book has so many valuable lessons.

When I asked my son to tell me what happened in the book, he did understand the entire story. He loved that Frankie "got wheels" and was able to play again; and he also laughed at a few of the stories about Frankie (especially the ones about potty training.) Without a doubt, his favorite thing about this book was the postcard that came inside of it. This postcard had a picture of Frankie dressed up as a hot dog for Halloween -- with his wheels, he was an actual Weiner-mobile! My son could not stop laughing!

I definitely recommend FRANKIE THE WALK 'N ROLL DOG if you are looking for a book that explains disabilities and how to overcome them. It is a cute story that will also touch your heart.

A big thanks to Stephanie from Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours for arranging this book blog tour.


bermudaonion said...

Dogs are so resilient and Frankie is adorable. I'd love to read more about him after watching that video!

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

Oh what a great story! We have a doxie so I'm sure my boys would love this book!

teabird said...

I love this - would that humans were as adaptable and cheerful as dogs...

Barbara Techel said...

Thank you, Julie for the wonderful review on your blog today. I appreciate all your positive thoughts!

~Barbara Techel
Author & proud mom of Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog
2009 Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame Companion

Anonymous said...

A good friend of mine had a Dachshund named Oliver who had to be put down a couple years ago for because of he had a couple ruptured discs. It was hard for her.

My mom has a Dach, too, named Max, and everytime I call, he'll whine until she puts the phone down on the floor so he can "talk" to his big sister ;-) She says I'm the only person he ever acts that way for.

I'm going to have to grab this book :-D

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Frankie is adorable. Great to see a children's book about a handicapped pet.

Book Escape said...

This sounds like a really cute book. It makes me wonder if it also teaches children to persevere even when things look to hard for them. I think I may check this one out with my daughter.

Bingo said...

I have an award for you over on my blog so please come by for it.
I love this review and with my grand puppy, who is my BOOK BUDDY on my site, especially meaningful. I am reading a book to review soon called MEANINGFUL MEASURES that would go well with this.