Sep 162023
Review: The Dog with Two Names – Stories that Celebrate Diversity
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Review: The Dog with Two Names – Stories that Celebrate Diversity
Author: Nandita Da Cunha
Illustrator: David Yambem
Publication: Talking Cub – An Imprint of Speaking Tiger Books
Type: Paperback
No. of pages: 200
Genre: Fiction
Age Group: 9 years+ (the publisher recommends it for 10 years+)

Normally, I begin my reviews by discussing the story, but this time, I’m starting with my daughter’s thoughts about the book’s cover because she really wanted to share her appreciation at first. Here’s what she said:

“I absolutely love the book cover by the illustrator David Yambem! It’s so warm and charming. After reading the stories inside, the cover made even more sense to me. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the adorable puppy and its expression, as if it were about to join us at home. The girl’s eyes are also so expressive. I got so caught up in the cover that it took me a while to finally dive into the story.”

With those words of appreciation for the cover, let’s now delve into her thoughts on the stories inside. Here’s what she had to say:

“The short stories are all about kids my age (middle graders), and the situations in each of them felt really relatable. Actually, the main characters and even the other people in the stories felt like people I know. It was almost like reading anecdotes from my own life. Pretty cool, right?!  While the stories delve into themes of rivalry, rudeness, disparity, and more, each one concludes with a happy ending, making them truly enjoyable to read. I must also note that the font used in the book is quite comfortable to read, especially for someone like me who now wears glasses. While I enjoyed all of the stories, my favourite top 4 stories are ‘The Three S’s of Saathi Gully’, ‘Uniformity in Uniforms’, ‘The Dog with Two Names’ and ‘Mango Politics’. “

I am sure by now you might be convinced enough to gift this book to your middle-grader but then I thought why not add a few words from my side too? So here you go.

The stories in this collection explore various themes, including:

  • The journey of three inseparable friends who have a falling out but come together again when faced with a greater challenge.
  • A Parsi girl who finds courage in taking pride in her heritage.
  • Two kids from different social backgrounds uniting over a shared passion to tackle a major problem.
  • Acceptance of a newcomer to the school, initially seen as a rival.
  • Overlooking an old problem after discovering a new passion.
  • The unintended consequences of a well-intended rule set by the principal, cause concern among the students and how it eventually resolves.
  • An innocent act by a puppy that both breaks and later mends relationships in a village.
  • The quick judgments people make based on appearances.
  • How individuals can become rude when pursuing their desires and how the universe teaches them a lesson.
  • The desire of a middle-grade girl to be accepted into a school clique.
  • How circumstances can change in favour of those seeking equality, whether it’s about getting their fair share of mangoes or
  • Seeking equality in having the opportunity to attend school.

As you see, the stories are diverse in nature, in their setting, characters or underlying theme. Regarding the writing, the language is clear and the typography is well done. The concise nature of the stories makes them perfect for quick and enjoyable reads during breaks between study sessions.

In summary, it’s a fantastic book that celebrates diversity through the perspective of children, adding to its appeal and relatability for young readers.

Other books by the author are The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street , The Miracle on Kachhua Beach,  Just like Papa (read review here) and The Magic in My Fingers, chapter books My Trip To La-La Land (for 8 years+), Pedru and the Big Boom (for 10 years+), Who Clicked That Pic? is for 9 years+ and has been illustrated by Priya Kuriyan.

If you enjoyed reading this review and wish to order this book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),


Disclaimer: We got this book as part of #kbcReviewerSquad and we feel happy and privileged to be part of it as we are free to have our opinions and give an honest review of the book.

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