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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Friday, April 17, 2015

To Have a Dog: A Book Review

To Have a Dog 

Written by Ivona Brezinova (Czech Republic) 
Illustrated by Zaur Deisadze (Georgia)
Published by The Reading Corner*

Matthew wanted only one thing on Earth: a dog. He lived in a children's home, and they weren't allowed to have a real dog. The toy dog he got for Christmas was broken; the other animals he tried out as pets didn't live up to his expectations. He never ever thought about wanting a Mother or a Father-but one day, when a couple comes to adopt him-he decides to keep an open mind. . . .

We bought this book after we decided to adopt internationally but before we travelled and were matched with Buddy. It is not only available in English, but also in 12 additional languages: Albanian, Armenian, Czech, French, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish and Ukrainian. It was so cool to have a book in both my first language and my future child's first language and I would dream about the day we could read them together. We bought one version in each language from amazon.

When we met Buddy, he hadn't really given a lot of thought to being adopted, just like Matthew in the book. However, he was very interested our pictures and videos of Grem and Swar. Buddy loved animals, and still does, but had never had a pet of his own. He especially loved a video of Grem where she walks up to our apple tree, plucks off one of the low-hanging fruits and eats it in about three bites. He still asks to watch it on occasion.

Just like Matthew, Buddy had an open mind. I'm wont spoil the end of Matthew's story, but ours is definitely a happy one.

*The Reading Corner, a project of the International Step by Step Association (ISSA), is a children’s publishing cooperative of authors and illustrators located primarily in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union. ISSA is committed to publishing high quality children's literature written and illustrated by writers and artists in the regions where ISSA works.


  1. This sounds like such a sweet story! And I think it makes a lot of sense. Kids who have been through trauma may be a little more interested in a pet then parents! I am definitely going to have to check this one out, I had never heard of it before.

    1. I've never heard anyone else mention it, either. I didn't realize how applicable it would be when I bought it, so I'm really glad I came across it.

  2. This looks like a great story! Thanks for sharing. My boys are older, but I might have to get this book. I love that it comes in so many different languages too.

    1. I think the fact it is available in so many different languages makes this book really unique and special.