Barbara Gail Techel's first children's book, Frankie, The Walk 'N Roll Dog, shines with love and compassion. It's a story she wrote to share a message, to teach children they could face challenges, and find a solution. So, she shares the story of her beloved dachshund, Frankie, who conquered a disability and lives a happy, successful life.
Frankie tells her own story, that she was like any other miniature dachshund with four legs. However, she grew a little larger than normal for a "wiener" dog, and is known as a "tweenie weenie," between a miniature and standard-sized dachshund. And, she led a normal, pleasant life with her owners, her "parents," and other dogs, enjoying her bicycle trips downtown to visit people. But, on Easter weekend 2006. while her parents were gone, Frankie had an accident at the kennel, an accident that left her back legs paralyzed due to a ruptured disk.
Frankie worked hard at physical therapy, but, finally her "Mom," Barbara Techel, found a cart made for dogs that is similar to a wheelchair made for people. Frankie joyfully tells of her return downtown as a dog on tires. And, she ends with the comment, "There is nothing I cannot do. I will always keep on rolling and putting my best paw forward!"
The story of Frankie is not a depressing, preachy story for children. Instead, it's a joyful story of triumph over adversity. The illustrations by Victoria Kay Lieffring bring Frankie to life as much as the story itself does. Although she doesn't do an outstanding job portraying people, the dogs in the book, particularly Frankie, are gorgeous animals. Children will be amused with some of the pictures, such as Frankie's "accidents" and the picture of her with an oxygen mask. Techel and Lieffring do an outstanding job telling Frankie's story.
And, if you give this book to children, ages 7 to 10, the book does have a happy, positive message. And, you could add a couple notes to the book. Frankie and her "Mom," Barbara Techel, frequently visit schools and libraries to talk about Frankie's disabilities, and her message of courage. They are also a registered therapy dog team that visit the elderly, and hospital and hospice patients. Frankie truly has a message to bring to everyone.
Barbara Techel's website is www.joyfulpaws.com
Frankie, The Walk 'N Roll Dog by Barbara Gail Techel. Joyful Paw Prints, ©2008. ISBN 0-9800052-0-5 (paperback), 52p.
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