Do you ever have those moments where there’s just something massively adorable that the sheer idea of it makes anything involving said thing tug at your heartstrings? Yeah, I Always Wanted One by Oliver Tallec is that for me. Everything about this concept of our dogs perceiving us in a similar manner to that which we perceive them gets to my emotions. I just love how it pops up every once in awhile in media I read or watch. I’m especially fond of how it was portrayed here.
A dog who wants a boy.
The story is told from the perspective of a young dog who has always wanted a boy of his own. And one Christmas morning, he finally gets one! Translated from its original French, I Always Wanted One follows these two characters as they get to know one another and build a bond and attachment that lasts for a lifetime. You see how excited this young pup is to finally have a companion of his own and the ways in which they grow and develop together.
I adored seeing this world from the dog’s perspective. It was especially fun to see how certain aspects of a dog’s life play a role in the way he sees the behaviors of his boy. My favorite, hands down, had to be the idea of going to school. Whereas this is a perfectly normal behavior for us, the dog sees this as his boy misbehaving and running away! Though his boy always comes home, he can’t help spending his whole day looking for him.
The dog’s voice and emotion.
I do have to admit that a part of me feels as though the dog wasn’t as attached to his boy as a typical dog would have been. There was definitely somewhat of a disconnect in the author’s ability to show how much this dog loved his boy. In that sense, this book is lacking. I would have much preferred if the dog’s voice portrayed a stronger attachment that falls more in-line with how dogs behave.
The dog just lost a lot of his excitement and happiness after a while, which really doesn’t match my picture for a dog who loves his owner. And perhaps this has to do with the fact that I have a dog-obsessed puppy, but it did completely throw me that the dog in this book commented on a game of fetch getting boring after a while.
The artwork for this story was absolutely gorgeous. I was a little thrown when we see the boy hiding underneath the dresser upon seeing his dog’s excitement, but I suppose the author was trying to give the boy more dog-related behaviors. Though this made the story a bit less realistic for me, it was overall an extremely adorable rendition. The dog is utterly cute and every page is filled with beautiful illustrations that you can’t help adoring. It’s bright and colorful, which leaves a lot of room for child engagement.
Overall, I’m actually a pretty big fan of this book. It’s adorable, it’s funny, it’s silly, and it has a special place in my heart.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.