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Book Review- Gopi Diaries by Sudha Murthy

Gopi Diaries By Sudha Murthy

Gopi Diaries is a book about the dog Gopi who is adopted into the Murthy household by Rohan. There are three books in the series Gopi Diaries. This week I got a chance to read it to my daughter, who is still very young to understand the words but, she enjoyed the illustrations and got an idea about the story. My daughter has a dog sibling and, she loves the company of pets, but I know that a lot of children find dogs scary or intimidating. This book explains to them in simple expression that pets can be part of the family. I plan to gift this book to my six-year-old nephew, who is pestering his parents to buy him a dog. The book gives a fair idea to kids that a dog is not just a play buddy but a lot of responsibility too. The book has some nice coloured pictures of the real dog Gopi in the last few pages and, it gives a very realistic touch to the whole story of Gopi.

What is it about- Gopi Diaries is a trilogy and, I read the first part- Coming home.  As the title suggests, it is about a family adopting a pup and getting him home. The book is written,  from a dog’s perspective. It explains to young minds that when you take a dog away from his mother to your house, you have to be the parent, look after the dog like a baby, make the animal part of your family, and not just a play buddy or a guard. Gopi is a golden retriever who finds being welcomed with “Aarti and Tilak “ by his new family in Murthi house. He has his set of whims and fancies when it comes to vaccinations and toys. The dog has a chirpy and a naughty demeanor, and when he meets a quieter dog, he says that like people…Dogs also have different personalities.

What I like the most- I liked the inimitable style of Sudha Murthy. Her simple language and powerful expression makes it interesting. There is a little mention of Narayan Murthy and his aversion to the dog because he was bit once. The Murthy family can be seen in the cute illustrations that run alongside the text in the book.  Sudha calls her dog Gopi, Gopesh, Gopinath, and unlike the typical dog names such a duke, muffin, Rambo, etc. because she feels that the dog is a family member and, should be named as a family member would be named. I think that itself is a powerful expression and tells the kids in a very subtle way that pets are family.

What could be better- Rohan, who is supposed to be the dog parent in the book, is practically not there in raising the dog. The dog is mostly looked after by Ajji(grandmother), who is Ms Murthi herself. I hope Rohan has some more contribution in the next two books.

Recommended for- Children aged six and above, especially if they are pet lovers. For parents who are scared to adopt a dog!

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