Adventures of Willie the Westie

Phil Ferretti

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing Pages: 24 Price: (paperback) $13.95 ISBN: 9781098062828 Reviewed: June, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

A dog named Willie meets a turtle, horse, buffalo, and armadillo in the picture book Adventures of Willie the Westie.

Willie the Westie lives in Michigan, where he meets a turtle. “Willie didn’t know what end was the front because the turtle hid his head and tail inside his shell,” writes author Phil Ferretti. Soon, Willie moves to Texas with his owner, Phillip John. There, Willie meets his first horse, and later a buffalo. Willie also wants to meet George, a wild turkey, but Phillip John forbids it because the turkey seems angry and unpredictable. Later, Willie comes across an armadillo. At his Aunt Judy’s house, Willie plays with Kingston, a seven-year-old boy, and two other dogs, Peanut and Lupo.

The “Adventures” of the title is a bit misleading, as most of the stories are just a paragraph or two and consist largely of Willie meeting an unfamiliar animal. There’s no dialogue; instead, the action is described from a third-person point of view. Willie names the animals (Bert the Buffalo, Andy the Armadillo, etc.), which provides a personal touch, but the stories are little more than the meeting and, later, a brief description of Kingston taking the dogs out to play.

In addition to the weak storyline, confusion arises sometimes from a lack of context. For example, Philip John’s father Pap and his caregiver Maria are introduced, but there’s no indication of who Kingston is—a relative? A neighbor?

While the art is solid, with cute depictions of the animals, the Michigan and Texas yards are virtually identical, with the same grass, shrubbery, and fence; in the sky, the sun and clouds are simply reversed.

There are a few other minor problems: for example, at the bottom of the first page, the large spaces between words seem to indicate a formatting error.

The biggest problem, however, is the lack of an engaging plot. The story requires further development to reach a wide audience.

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