A dog book that even this dyed-in-the-wool cat person loved? I know, it’s amazing!
Book: I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak
Read before: No
Ownership: Proof copy sent free of charge by Nosy Crow Books. All opinions my own.
I will admit – I checked the last page of this before I started it, because I am very leery of animal death in books. And it’s fine – that is not where this story goes at all! You can read in peace without worrying about that!
What we do get is a funny, heartwarming story from the point of view of Cosmo, a dog who is determined to help his best human friend Max through his parents’ divorce. Cosmo’s voice is so wonderful – a little bit philosophical, and a little bit obsessed with food, and a really different point of view on things than humans. I’m impressed at how readable it was, and how the author sustained that voice across the whole book without it ever becoming too gimmicky. I read this all in one sitting, because Cosmo’s voice was so compelling that I just didn’t want to put it down.
Max and Cosmo enter a doggy dancing competition, with the help of Uncle Reggie, who is an army dog trainer, and one of the least toxic male role models I’ve ever seen in middle grade fiction. He’s open about his emotions, gentle with both Max and Cosmo, and seems genuinely lovely and loving. I was really impressed at how good his relationship with Max and Cosmo was. Max obviously feels uncomfortable talking to his parents about the divorce, so – it was great to see that he had some adult (human) support as well as Cosmo’s well-meaning help.
Viewing the story through Cosmo’s eyes allows for some lovely reflections on family and love, and this is a book that I think will have cross-age group appeal. I’m definitely impressed that it made me connect so much with a dog (I’m really not a fan in real life) – but Cosmo will stick with me for a while, I think. Thematically inappropriate, but four out of five cats!