In this rhyming picture book, when a studious young lady gets taken for a walk by her fun-loving dog, she learns that books, homework, and carefully brushed hair are not the only things in life that matter.
Daisy focuses on her school lessons and spends all her time inside, in contrast to her family dog, Freddie, who loves to be out and about. When Daisy admits she’s lonely, her father encourages her to make friends and to start by getting into the fresh air with Freddie. On their walk, Freddie takes over, introducing her to the butcher, interrupting the playtime of some neighborhood kids, and generally teaching Daisy to worry a little less about following the rules.
Daisy gets messy, laughs, and has a memorable afternoon, while returning home in time for tea. As the story ends, Daisy asks to walk Freddie each day, having learned that there’s a lot of the world she’s been missing.
Many reserved young readers, especially those without siblings, will find Daisy a relatable protagonist, and the adventure she takes with Freddie is full of joy and possibility. However, Freddie navigates the world through a dog’s lens, chasing ducks and looking for bones. (For example, while they crash the sandbox where other kids are playing, Daisy doesn’t have time to befriend them before Freddie’s off on another lark.) By the end of the story, Daisy seems happier and excited to go outside, but doesn’t revisit her dad’s guidance to learn a team sport or invite classmates for a sleepover.
The rhyme scheme is fun, and the illustrations are colorful and vibrantly capture the wide, green world that Daisy gets to explore; the ink-like shading adds character and depth.
While the story misses out on showing youngsters how to make non-canine friends, Freddie takes Daisy for a Walk is great for any child who takes life a bit too seriously.
Also available as an ebook.