A Youngster’s Review: Why Dogs Are…by Tana Thompson; Illustrated by Marita Gentry

Why Dogs Are

The Synopsis

Why Dogs Are tells the story of how a dog teaches some life lessons to a very special child. It seeks to explore the concept of God’s unconditional love and how someone without the ability to see or hear can comprehend its scope and His impact in our lives.

Named a Finalist in the non-profit Indie Book Awards (category Spirituality, 2014), 100% percent of net profits from book sales goes to charities that train and support therapy dogs. The book is first in a series called “Love Unleashed.” The author’s own dog Muttley was a therapy dog that brought his light and love to nursing home residents and to children with disabilities. Born deaf and blind, Brian was the inspiration for the book. His character is a composite of the many children who attended the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind who had to learn to live life with one or more disabilities. “Why Dogs Are is everything a good children’s book needs to be – engaging and delightful,” said Amy S. Royal, professional freelance editor. “But when an author tackles a big concept and manages to convey it in a simple, yet powerful way, good becomes great. Great becomes wonderful. Wonderful becomes very special. This is an engaging, delightful and very special book with a story and message that will live forever.”

My Review:

Before I begin my review, I am going to say that this is probably the hardest book that I have ever had to review. Because this book had great potential, but, well, just read my review!

UPS: I will begin by saying that I love the heart of this book. The reason it was written and the inspiration behind it gives it a very special personality and a good message. The wording of this book was also truly amazing, for even though this book is geared for children around 4 or 5, I read this book aloud with my mom and we found a few parts so very well written that they touched even us. The pictures are also full of color and very bright, perfect for children who enjoy colors.

DOWNS: However, despite the heart of the story, my family and I feel that it does not totally line up with the Bible. For instance, on one of the pages the author writes, “God could not touch Brian” I personally believe this statement to be so very false, because I have been touched by God in more ways than one. I do know what the author meant by this statement, that because God is not human, he doesn’t normally touch in the same way a human can, but I am not going to tell a 4 year-old who is learning about God, possibly for the first time, that He cannot touch a child who is born blind and deaf, they simply will not understand. One of the other things that bothered us, was that the author also writes, “God needed help.” and summarized, he went to the dog for help. This is very disturbing on two accounts,one, that a dog is equal to, or even better than God, and two, that God actually needs help. If the author was not trying to illustrate this kind of picture, re-wording it to be “God wanted to touch Brian through the dog” or something like that, would have been much more ideal.

OVERALL: I know my DOWNS really overthrew my UPS, and I really hate doing that, but I felt that I needed to explain a few things. So, I am afraid that I will only be rating Why Dogs Are 2 out of 5 stars, because though it is a great story and had good potential, it is not Biblically correct and I, as a professed child of God and follower of Jesus Christ, take that very seriously.

“I received this book from the publisher/author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own (with some help from family:-) .”

Author Bio/Website

Tana Thompson

Tana Thompson spent 30 years teaching in colleges and universities around the south, watching computers go from huge mainframe technological monsters to carry-in-your-pocket smart phone equivalents. Now in retirement, she is following her dream of writing, having interests in children’s literature and non-fiction genres such as memoir-writing and regaling unique travel experiences shared with her late husband, Ken, in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. She is so committed to using her right brain for a change that she also makes jewelry, stained and fused glass, and delights in photography. She lives on her own heaven-on-earth slice of Lake Logan Martin in beautiful Alabama, with 2 “chosen” dogs, 2 rescued dogs and 4 rescued cats.

The website is whydogsare.com

Illustrator Bio/Website

As usual….I couldn’t find anything on the illustrator, so I have no info….

Links For Purchase


Christian Books does not sell this book.


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