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Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart
Gobi. It’s such a cute name for a little desert dog. Gobi lived in the Gobi Desert of China. She was all alone until she found a true friend in Dion Leonard, an ultra-marathon runner.
A group of runners were in the middle of a 7 day race in China’s Gobi Desert when little Gobi spotted them. On the second day of the 155 mile race, she began running beside Dion. The two became friends. Obviously, Dion named her Gobi because he found her in the Gobi Desert. They shared food, napped together, and encountered a scary moment along the way.
When the two new friends crossed the finish line, their friendship was far from over. Dion promised to take his new little friend home with him to the UK. After a few hurdles, the two finally made their way to Edinburgh, Scotland where they live together today.
I like this book for several reasons:
- It’s a true story.
- It shows children that sometimes friendships start in the most unlikely places.
- It shows kids that unlikely friendships can become lifelong friendships.
- It tells us that friendships sometimes encounter hurdles.
- We learn that true lifelong friendships overcome the hurdles.
I also like the pictures. The colors are bright and appealing. I like the way the illustrator, Lisa Manuzak, captures Dion’s facial expressions (and Gobi’s too). 🙂 Even the rocks are colorful. My kids loved counting them. They had to know how many blue rocks, how many green rocks, and how many brown rocks were on a particular page.
During the story, a few other little desert animals pop into the picture. Kids will see some sort of red chameleon-looking character. There is a group of animals that resembled prairie dogs and a camel. This might spark interest in what types of animals live in the Gobi Desert. There are lots of resources for learning about desert animals here.
Kids might be interested in learning more about marathons and Dion Leonard. I found a BBC news article about this story here.
Here is the Youtube clip about the real story. Your kids will want to watch it after reading the story.
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