Two Paws Up!
By Tamsin Pickeral, Photography by Astrid Harrisson
Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., $35.00, 288 pages
If you just want a book about individual dog breeds, their backgrounds and standard dog information, this book would be a good reference. But if you want all of the above plus discussions of how breeds fit into our country’s history and information that will help you understand your favorite dog breed, then The Spirit of the Dog: An Illustrated History is for you! Author Tamsin Pickeral, an animal lover and veterinary nurse, writes about both popular and lesser-known breeds to celebrate variety. She wants to capture the spirit of man’s best friend, and she is certainly successful.
The book is split into eight sections that eloquently highlight the qualities of featured breeds. Pickeral includes touching stories and anecdotes in order to provide a historical and emotional context. Around ten breeds are included in each chapter, and hundreds of Astrid Harrisson’s lovely photographs accompany the text. Her images capture the essence of every pooch and show the extreme variety of shapes, sizes and colors. If you are purchasing it as a gift, buy two, because once you get it home, you’ll want to keep one for yourself!
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin