Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami

stargazing dog

Stargazing Dog
Takashi Murakami
Comics Lit, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-56163-612-9
FORMAT: Graphic Novel
AGES: Young Adult, Adult
2.5 Stars

I read this book as part of the 2013 YALSA The Hub Reading Challenge. So far for the challenge I have read:

19. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
18. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
17. My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
16. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
15. In Darkness by Nick Lake
14. Crusher by Niall Leonard
13. Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
12. The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long, Jim Demonakos, and Nate Powell
11. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
10. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert
9. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
6. Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
5. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson
4. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
3. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
2. Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
1. Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose

I thought the idea of this book was interesting. But I just didn’t love the story. And that made it hard for me to like the book. Basically a little girl gets a dog even though her dad doesn’t want the dog. But then the dad ends up walking the dog every day. And he talks to the dog. The dog forms quite a bond with Daddy. The girl grows up and cares little for the dog (or her family). The mother gets frustrated and wants a divorce. Soon Daddy and the dog are alone. Daddy lost his job and apartment and he has a heart condition. Daddy decides to go south toward where in Japan he was from. Eventually he dies. When his body is discovered a year and a half later they see that the dog that they found with him only died 3 months before. Meaning that the dog stuck around even though Daddy was dead. Then there are some other bits telling a little about the social worker who was assigned to try to figure out who “Daddy” was.

So, I don’t like the “another dead dog” type of story. Especially when at the very begining it tells that Daddy and the dog are dead and they were found together (with the interesting item about how the dog was alive for so long after Daddy had died. I also didn’t like that all the extra text in the illustrations weren’t translated from the Japanese (I assume it was Japanese). Even though I assume that the words above the illustrations were the translations of the text, I still wish I didn’t have to move my eyes away from the illustration to understand the translation. Another reason that I didn’t love the story is that I didn’t really care for any of the characters other than the dog. But then at the end of the book the other dog seemed just like the main dog. Meaning that the only character I really liked wasn’t all that “different” from any other dog shown. Therefore, even though I could see the interest and the talent shown in this book, it just wasn’t for me.

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