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Dashenka Or, The Life of a Puppy

Region: Eastern Europe, Czech Republic

Author: Karel Čapek

Original Language: Czech

Translator: M. & R. Weatherall

Illustrator: Karel Čapek

Genre: Animal Stories; Nonfiction (narrative fiction)

Descriptors: Animals; Dogs; Fox Terriers

Age: 4-8 years old

Programming: DIY Dog Toy


Dashenka or, The Life of a Puppy is a classic children’s book about Karel Čapek’s hyper fox terrier puppy, Dashenka. The story follows Dashenka’s life from birth up until she is old enough to be adopted. Čapek’s humorous tale captures all of the joys of raising a puppy, like seeing them open their eyes for the first time and their clumsy attempts at walking. He also discusses in detail the difficulties of raising puppies. While he paints Dashenka as a real terror when she pees all over the house, tears apart slippers, and digs giant holes in the garden, his writing still conveys how much he loves Dashenka despite all of her naughty behavior. When Čapek and his family give Dashenka away to her new home, there is a moment of peace from all of Dashenka’s mischief, but they are ultimately sad to see her go. The story is illustrated by Čapek with adorable line drawings and black-and-white photographs of Dashenka and her mother, Iris. Following the story, Čapek includes tips on how to photograph a puppy and fairytales that he told Dashenka to get her to sit still for photos. Young animal lovers between the ages of 4 to 8 years old will love this delightful tale, as will readers of all ages who have had the experience of raising an unruly puppy.

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