With his cover photo shot set against a bright blue Tenerife sky dotted with white wispy clouds, Snr. Gizmo sits comfortably on his soft blue corduroy sofa, tapping at his laptop. With glasses perched on the end of his long nose, soft silky white hair brushed back from his handsome face, he is clearly an author relaxed at his work. But hold on – this is a first – a book written by – a dog! And he cleverly sent me a copy to review. Snr. Gizmo has a talent for publicity; he knows the importance of the word on the street. Philosophical, well travelled, and likeable, his stoical nature and forgiving ways put him in a class apart. He has a tail to tell.
So who am I to carp about his frequent ruff language and liberal distribution of canine clichés? He swears harder than the old priest in Father Ted. This guy has been through the mire, he’s seen the underside of life, he’s had it tough for sure, but now he is an acclaimed journalist with a regular column for his local rag. Poster pooch too, for an educational programme, he’s `giving something back’ now and helping to train humans to be better than they were at looking after his fellow creatures.
Almost Walt Disney, yes, but it’s no whimsical Shaggy Dog story, or quite The Incredible Journey, Old Yeller he may yet be but Gizmo is Nobody’s Poodle! He has landed on his paws now (I know – the old chestnuts just tumble out after a few hours in his company) and he is living happily ever after, thankfully. After some truly scary adventures, one chapter I could hardly bear to stay in about his unfortunate capture by dog fighting ruffians; he was taken to a refuge by his errant, down on his luck too, first owner Trev; the charity the author now supports so diligently, at Accion-del-Sol. Phew.
Well Done Annie Chapman for the totally captivating and delightful illustrations; they really do add to the book. It’s fun to have pictures. This is not really a children’s’ book because of the slang maybe but it is definitely young adult upwards. It has an important job to do, a wider message to give out, a lot to fit in to what is essentially a quick, very funny and ultimately heart warming read. Greater than the sum of its parts even though Snr. Gizmo is now, himself, missing some…
Londondogforum…….It takes considerable skill to write as a dog in the first person successfully, but Gizmo, the lovable Labradoodle (alias Nikki and Richard Attree) has mastered it to a fine art and never once did I find myself wondering whether the target audience was aimed at children or adults. Gizmo’s character is beautifully rounded, shows excellent insight into the canine psyche and is bound to bring joy to any adult reader.
By page six, I found myself laughing out loud, something I am not often prone to do, and I am delighted to say that my humour was tickled throughout the novel. However this tale is not just a barrel of laughs, there are distressing moments too, but they are integral to the plot and never become overindulgent or too painful to read.
I am not going to spoil any future reader’s pleasure by giving away the plot. It is sufficient to say that story takes some unexpected twists and turns and as an added bonus is beautifully illustrated by Annie Chapman.
This little gem of a book not only makes a perfect holiday reading material but also would be an ideal gift for any dog lover. Most importantly it highlights the hard work of the animal rescue centres of Tenerife and we hope it will bring them plenty of support.
A special note to Gizmo: Thank you, it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you and I hope you write lots more in the future.
Review by Janet Anscombe on Amazon.co.uk – Nobody’s Poodle is everybody’s doggy book,
I’ve been really lucky in being able to read this before publication, and also really lucky in knowing the hero of the story, Gizmo himself, so at first glance, I’m hardly an impartial reviewer! I’m also an avid reader, however, and I know a good book when I see it, and this is one really good book. It has all the elements of a good “tail”, well written, with humour, puns and wordplay, as well as setbacks, breath-holding drama, and the need for at least one full box of tissues!
It’s also a true story. Well, OK, there’s a fair bit of poetic licence involved, but at root, it’s the real-life story of a loveable little rogue of a fluffy rag-doll of a dog who looks, a little bit, like a poodle. As such, the title is very apt indeed: Gizmo was homeless, literally nobody’s poodle, but with such a strength of character that he was “nobody’s poodle”! Thanks to the huge kind hearts of the authors, he found a loving and secure home. He landed full square right on his paws.
This book deserves to do the same, and I’m sure it will. Nobody’s poodle is now somebody’s poodle, and thanks to this book, has become everybody’s poodle. Fill your hearts. Buy it. You’ll love it.
This review is from: Nobody’s Poodle (Paperback)
Like the previous reviewer, I was lucky enough to see a pre-publication copy too, and I have also met Gizmo, and whilst that might appear to make me biased, I promise on my dog’s life, I always try to be fair and forthright!
Gizmo is a superstar in the ex-pat community of Tenerife, and quite right too. He’s just about the cutest dog I’ve ever met (and remember I already mentioned, I’m a dog owner). I kind of think of him a the Owen Wilson of the local dog scene, you know, cuddly and loveable, and always getting into scrapes!
Whilst this book is full of fun and humor, it has a serious side too, fitting Gizmo’s role as English spokesperson for abandoned dogs in Tenerife. The story is part fiction, but based on true and very sad facts, and it’s great that Nikki and Richard are taking the story of the island’s neglected dogs to a wider audience. That they weave so much humour into it makes it that much more readable (I think it would make a great movie “hint, hint”!), and it will certainly make you laugh. It will also make you think twice about how your dog thinks – we don’t always stop to think that our pets aren’t human and that their points of reference and perspectives are quite different to ours, even if they are well-loved.
All that makes it sound heavy! But it’s anything but. Great read. Lovely illustrations.Great book to help you teach kids to respect and think about animals in a more understanding way.
Annie A Dog-lover’s dream of a book May 8, 2013
Nobody’s Poodle follows the story of Gizmo, an abandoned dog whose life takes several twists and turns on his quest for a new family in Tenerife. He meets several other canine characters on the way,and gets in and out of scrapes. Gizmo has a very particular philosophy on life and his writing includes some witty observations and laugh out loud humour. The drawings are pretty good too! This book is a must for any dog fan and if you have enjoyed “Bob, the Street Cat”or other stories of this ilk, this is a must-read.
A great little read to cheer the day up! Good to see Gizmo has got Nikki and Richard trained so well but are they ready for future advanced training? Time will tell!! 😉
5.0 out of 5 stars Wooftastic read!, 6 Jun 2013 By emily milo – Amazon Review
A must for dog lovers, especially anyone who has given a rescue dog a forever home. Wonderfully written from a dog (Gizmo’s) perspective and takes you through the trials and tribulations of an abandoned dog on the streets of “The Reef”. Made me laugh, made me cry and made me ponder….what exactly is going on in my dogs head? A lovely story that will appeal to anyone, from young teens upwards, made even more endearing as it is based loosely on a true story. It has a serious message too and highlights the plight of homeless dogs everywhere, not just in Tenerife, and the wonderful work the shelters and volunteers do to help stray dogs (and cats!) find a loving home. All in all a perfect read for a couple of hours on a summer’s day with your dog snoozing at your feet.
Great story about abandoned dogs with a good ending., 2 Jun 2013 By Danielle – Amazon Review
Really liked reading the book its shows how much the dog(s) are suffering when being dumped and all the dog(s) wants is to give and receive LOVE..
The pictures we also very beautiful .
In the Canarian Weekly –
Great story,28 May 2013 – by Jane
Loved this book makes you think about all the dogs in Gismo”s situation . I would tell anybody to read this book it is funny as well as telling a all to often account that many dogs find they are in