Kids will want to zoom out to pick up ‘Dozer’s Run’

How much do you like to jump?

If you’re like most kids, you’d do it right now if you could. You also like to run and explore which, unfortunately, can get you into trouble sometimes.

And that’s not all. Running when you shouldn’t, could get you lost – but in the new book “Dozer’s Run” by Debbie Levy with Rosana Panza, illustrated by David Opie, it all turned out OK.

Dozer and his best friend, Chica, slept in a barn.

It was warm in there, and was a great place for breakfast — which was something Dozer loved. Just outside the barn, there were all kinds of yummy things to smell, too. Sniffing, in fact, was what Dozer and Chica were doing when a runner sprinted by one day.

And then another zoomed past.

And then someone else, and another person and soon, there was a whole pack of runners! Dozer and Chica watched for awhile, but runners just kept on coming.

Chica was a good dog. She knew that they were supposed to stay in their yard, but Dozer couldn’t resist. Where were all those people going? Chica reminded him about the rules, but he “had to find out what the runners were chasing.”

And so Dozer left his yard. He left his barn, his best friend and even his mom, and he started running and listening to laughter and whistles. It was pretty awesome and the runners seemed to be cheering him on, telling him “Run, doggie, run!” It was so much fun that Dozer ran the other way for awhile, back and forth until they reached a finish line. But once the runners stopped running, the “wonderfulness” ended. Everybody was talking amongst themselves and they ignored Dozer. It was no fun anymore.

But there was a bigger problem than just no fun. A cool morning and a sunny afternoon became a dark evening and Dozer was alone in places he didn’t recognize. Finally, he heard his mom calling for him. She’d been very worried!

It had been a wonderful, tiring adventure and Dozer was glad to be home and glad to see his bed. But something else “wonderful, too” was about to happen.

Head to the bookstore or library and you’ll find a thousand children’s books about a dog. This one, though, stands out from the pack because this one is true.

Levy (with Dozer’s “mom,” Rosana Panza) tells the story of a dog having fun and a community that loved seeing it. This story isn’t just told from Dozer’s point of view, though: they also add an afterword that explains why the run was so noteworthy. That’s something kids will enjoy, but I think they’ll like the artwork by Opie even more; I wanted to reach inside the book to touch Dozer’s tail, and I’ll bet your child will, too.

This is a fun book for kids ages 3 to 5, but dog lovers up to 7 might like it, too. Have “Dozer’s Run” around and your child will jump for it.

View publishes Terri Schlichenmeyer’s reviews of books for children weekly.


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