Review By CAROLYN M. MULLIN
With a portion of its proceeds benefiting the Fund for Animals, it’s hard not to love The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra and Sal Barracca. After having hailed a real life cabbie who kept his canine companion in the front seat during his shifts, the Barraccas were inspired to write a charming, rhyming tale of a New York City taxi cab driver, Jim, who rescues a street dog he later names Maxi. Teaming up with talented artist Mark Buehner, the picture book highlights the ever important issue of animal homelessness and shows how dogs need good food, a warm home and plenty of TLC. Kids will also get a taste for what metropolitan-living is like with scenic depictions of NYC.
While there are two non-veggie elements to the book (the pair split a hot dog and meet circus entertainers that have a performing chimpanzee), parents can tailor the book to meet their ethics. Perhaps Jim and Maxi found a veggie hot dog option at the stand? Maybe the circus clowns employed a fake chimpanzee? This could develop into a nice discussion about how no animal should be forced into the entertainment industry. Although it must be said that Maxi is a natural comedian.
P.S. – This is also a Reading Rainbow-endorsed book!