Another installment of Patricia A. Brill’s Dog Tales Collection, Porsche Bella’s Forever Home tells the tale of an abandoned dog adapting to a new home.
Slightly different from the series’ other three stories, this picture book focuses on a new dog, eventually named Porsche Bella. The dog begins the tale abandoned in a field, along with her two white boxer siblings. ”The breeder didn’t want to keep us because he thought no one else would want us,” Porsche Bella’s brother explains to the others, noting that white boxers are sometimes born blind and deaf, “so humans think we are imperfect.”
Porsche Bella is eventually separated from her siblings and taken in by the author (appearing as the character “Dr. Pat”) and her husband, Captain Zach. One of the other dogs in Porsche Bella’s new family explains the rules of the house to her, and soon she happily settles into her new life.
Brill does a skillful job showing the facts of life about pet adoptions; some children may be momentarily upset about the siblings’ separation, but the necessity of that separation is made clear. Although there’s a third-person narrator for some early parts of the story, Brill mostly features the dogs talking to each other as the adoption process is explained and Porsche Bella’s many questions are answered.
As with Brill’s other Dog Tales books, parallels exist between Porsche Bella’s situation and those of some human children. A child adapting to a new home, be it foster or permanent, might find a model in Porsche Bella, while children adopting dogs or welcoming a new child will gain a better appreciation for their own role in the process.
Many images are resized and reused throughout the book, particularly those of the Brill dogs sitting and talking. While more original illustrations would have been welcome, this proves a minor quibble in an otherwise solidly illustrated book. Porsche Bella’s Forever Home is a hopeful tale that children will enjoy.