Lessons From Shadow: My Life Lessons for Boys and Girls, by Shadow Bregman ISBN 9781524673741
Five out of five stars
While the level is roughly that of the second grade reader, this is a book that younger children will enjoy having read to them. Relatively speaking, there are few illustrations, some of the pages contain a great deal of text with no images.
The story is told from the perspective of Shadow, a ten-year-old lab. While Shadow is black, his name comes from his tendency to follow people everywhere. He was found at a rescue event and little is known about his life before living with Daddy, Mommy and Betsy. Daddy and Mommy are his two humans and Betsy is a small, yippy dog with the dibs of being there first.
Shadow does not always know what is happening in the human world and how it affects him, but he does try. Shadow watches his Mommy get sick, recover, get sicker, recover a bit and then die. Betsy also goes away and never comes back. Shadow experiences loneliness when Mommy and Betsy are gone, writing the book is in many ways a cathartic event.
At the end of chapters there is a short piece called “Shadow’s lesson.” It is an explanation of what Shadow experienced in the chapter and what it means for life. The lessons are simple and of course just as applicable to the life of a human.
Children will enjoy this book about the life of Shadow, it will be very easy for them to relate to what he does. As he learns about the world he is in many ways recapitulating the life of a child.