Book Reviews

Lil’ Leo The Chosen One – book review

I am firmly of the opinion that more adults should read children’s books. They are great to escape with bringing colour, a simple story and usually a great message too. I highly recommend Lil’ Leo the Chosen One which brings to life the story of Parnita Senjit’s real-life certified therapy dog as a cartoon character complete with a black and white scarf.

Background to the book

The global pandemic has changed our lives in many ways.  It has forced us to go within and seek for ideas to heal ourselves. Every human being across the world has been impacted by this and a huge reset button has been pressed.

In these hugely challenging times, the introduction of a pet into the family dynamic has proved a comfort to many. This backdrop provided the catalyst for the start of Parnita’s literary journey.  Basing her series of illustrated books on Leo, her seven and a half-year-old certified therapy dog Parnita’s stories are aimed at children and all those with a love or association with dogs.

Parnita’s perceptive and intuitive writing style tells us how Leo is a loved family pet but also a therapy dog who helps the wider community. The idea is that from him we learn how to understand our canine friends.

My book review

I like books that have great illustrations so this book appealed to me immediately with its pictures of the countryside and many animals. The book is written from Leo’s perspective and it is clear he is an enthusiastic and playful puppy. Through poetry we are introduced to farmyard animals. Leo is brought to a halt as he discovers a bird who is hurt. The animals work as a team to bring the pigeon back to health. One line brought a tear to my eye “It’s OK to be sad, Lucky. Soon you will be able to fly again.” Many of us needed to hear that in the last 18 months or so. I have had many moments and still do when I feel unsure if I will fly after the breakup of my long marriage. Whatever any of us have gone through this year has had the distressing context of a global pandemic too.

The book is rounded off with the description of a family coming to choose Leo as their new pet. Leo bonds with his new owner Harry by playing hide and seek and feels sure Lucky the bird will be following him on this exciting journey too.

Finally the book gives some basic advice on dog ownership and highlights the work of the Dog Alliance.

About the author:

Parnita Senjit is an artist, a portrait artist, wellness coach and a motivational speaker. She induces creativity in all aspects of her profession and has used her skills and experience in working with children and adults alike.

She has blended her love for canines, keen interest in psychology and passion for wellbeing to help her clients.

For the past few years, Parnita has been associated with the Dog Alliance of Austin, Texas. She and Leo who is a certified therapy dog have been actively involved in helping children read and spending time with the elderly in care homes. She was also invited to hold one of the sessions in “Meditation with Art” program run by the Buddha temple of Austin.

The Dog Alliance of Austin have endorsed the book.

Therapy dogs like Leo use their social instincts and learned social skills to provide health, social-emotional, and cognitive benefits for individuals with specific challenges. As members of our Bow Wow Therapy Dog program, Leo and Parnita Senjit shared their positive attitudes and encouragement with children needing more confidence in reading. Leo’s soft eyes and mere presence helps a child relax and be more receptive to learning. This canine therapy team brought their warmth and smiles to senior citizens welcoming the companionship. Leo has been providing a calming influence for dementia patients. Although we label Leo as a “working dog”, for him it is a natural extension of his personality and his innate connection with people.”

Book details:

Publisher:   Just Bear With Us

Language:   English

ISBN No: 978-1-8384890-0-7

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1838489010

Author’s websites:  http://www.parnitasenjit.com  www.balancingbridge.com

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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