I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak
|I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: We need more anthropomorphic stories! Lovely story of family tensions told from the point of view of loyal Golden retriever, Cosmo. I cried!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 272||Date: August 2019|
|Publisher: Nosy Crow|
|External links: Author's website|
Cosmo's family is in crisis. Mom and Dad argue all the time. Emmaline doesn't quite understand it because she's too little but she feels it. And Max, who is bigger, does understand it and is terrified by it. Long ago, when Max was just a baby, Cosmo made a promise to protect Max forever and so he sets about his mission of repairing the family with everything he's got...
... there's just one problem. Cosmo is a thirteen-year-old golden retriever. What can a dog do to save a family? Plenty, as it turns out. The task? To win the dog dancing competition with Max and to remind Mom and Dad of the days long ago when they were happy and would dance together in the kitchen. Can Cosmo's stiff joints oblige? Can Max overcome his shyness? And will Mom and Dad understand?
Oh just a big fat aww to this story. Really. We need more anthropomorphism in our books, we do. It's been a bit of a fashion to look down on it but I think that we all remember our childhood pets and we all had relationships with them as children that were precious and special. Just as Max with Cosmo, I shared my secrets with a trusted cat and I truly believed I was understood. And, in many ways, I was understood. Animals pick up on atmosphere, I'm sure of it. I, Cosmo is the tale of the friendship between a boy and his dog but it's also a kitchen sink drama about a marriage going wrong and how it affects an entire family. Writing through Cosmo's lens enables Sorosiak to keep a little bit of distance from the specifics but keep true to the feelings.
Cosmo is a lovely dog. Loyal to his family and young at heart even while old in (arthritic) joint. His favourite film is Grease, which he loves almost as much as he loves bacon but nowhere near as much as he loves Max. He does some naughty things - that poor Christmas tree! - and you can't help but laugh. And he has some neurotic fears - a demonic sheepdog not least among them - and you can't help but laugh. And he dances as though his life depends upon it - as though Max's life depends upon it - and you can't help but shed a tear or two, or three....
Cosmo's mission to heal his family and protect Max is helped along the way by Uncle Reggie, an army dog trainer recently returned from Afghanistan, who provides wise advice and a further support structure for Max. He's a beautifully drawn secondary character and it would be lovely to see a book about him next - asking nicely!
I, Cosmo is a joyful exploration of the inner world of dogs, a celebration of the relationship between a little boy and his best friend, and a kindly story about how families can confront and manage difficulties and move forward despite them. I loved it.
Dog lovers might also enjoy reading this wonderful story with a creation myth about the domestication of dogs - Promise of the Wolves (Wolf Chronicles 1) by Dorothy Hearst.
You can read more book reviews or buy I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak at Amazon.com.
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