The Writer – Davide Cali and Monica Barengo

The Writer by Davide Calì, Monica Barengo
Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers on March 15, 2022
Genres: Children's
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A dog has an important job to do, especially if his human is a writer. Without a dog by his side, the writer would forget to eat. He’d never get out of his pajamas, and he’d probably stare at the computer all day long. But even the best French bulldog can’t do everything. Maybe this perfect pair needs someone new in their lives… 
Illustrated in warm, earthy tones, this witty story reflects the ways dogs change our lives for the better. Our canine friends can make—and find—the best companions.

The Writer is the story about a man too busy writing to have much of a social life—which means it’s all up his dog to help him find friends. If I hadn’t just watched 101 Dalmatians, I wouldn’t have caught this, but the plotline is pretty much the first 15 minutes of the Disney movie, just substitute writer for musician. It’s a story about a dog with an obsessive creative for an owner. The dog is convinced that he needs to find a human friend to hang out with and, along the way, finds a furry friend for himself.

The story is told simply and matter-of-factly, leaving it a little bit boring and dry. Originally published in Italian, the story maybe fits the culture and milieu of Italy better than the United States. It’s a slow-paced story that ends about as soon as its begun, offering only a quick slice-of-life and lots of questions to ponder.

The Writer is a definite change of pace from most children’s books. If you like or have a French bulldog, then you may find yourself more endeared to this—particularly if you are a writer. However, the lack of originality, the simplistic story—it all combines into a book that’s largely forgettable. It isn’t a bad book, by any means, but not something that held either my or my kids’ interest.