Friday, May 3, 2013

Adventures with Buster by London Lake Pickett

Adventures with Buster is a charming true story written by London Lake Pickett and illustrated by Lynda Farrington Wilson.

The book opens with an explanation that the author has an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa that has caused blindness in one eye and loss of 90% of her vision in the other.  The author then shares how Buster came to become her Guide Dog.

I read this book with my 10, 8, and 6 year old kids. They loved the stories of the adventures of London and Buster. Throughout the book are sprinkled some of the commands that Buster learned to assist his master.  One command in particular had my children almost rolling on the floor: "Busy, Busy."  You'll have to read the book to find out what that means!

One part of the story that I found fascinating was that some of Buster's initial training took place at a correctional facility by a female inmate. Then he spent time with a family and then back to training school where London first met Buster.  She traveled from North Carolina down to Florida to receive extensive training with her new dog. Training involved practicing commands in all sorts of settings: inside, outside, in stores, restaurants, etc.  Included at the back of the book were all the commands that Buster and London learned to work together well as a team.

When I asked my kids what they thought of the book, here's what they had to say:
  • 10 year old son: "I thought it was interesting that he was so smart and he didn't get distracted. It was very humorous."
  • 8 year old daughter: "It was really good!"
  • 6 year old daughter: "I liked the pictures. It was funny when he went 'Busy, Busy'!"
When we were done reading the book, my 6 year old wanted a copy of the list of commands in case she got a dog in the future.  

I hope that Ms. Pickett will write additional stories about her adventures with Buster. One suggestion I would make is to include a photograph of the author with Buster so kids can feel like they've really, truly "met" this adventurous duo.  It would also be fun to have the author upload some video on YouTube to demonstrate how Buster assists her.

This book would be a wonderful addition to any school, church, or home library to help kids better understand the role of a Guide Dog. The author did a wonderful job of explaining how hard her dog works and how people who meet her can best treat Buster so as not to interfere with his important job of keeping Ms. Pickett safe.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Adventures with Buster, contact London Lake Pickett at adventureswithbuster {at} yahoo {dot} com.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of the book for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.    

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