My Dawg Koa by Kelly Brakenhoff

My Dawg Koa by Kelly Brakenhoff
Duke the Deaf Dog ASL Series, #3
Publisher: Emerald Prairie Press
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Deaf friends Duke and Koa are the same, but they are also different.

Duke the Deaf Dog learns about similarities and differences between friends and families. A fun, engaging way to teach children that best friends share common interests. Their houses may look different, and their parents may have different rules and expectations, but Duke finds one thing families share no matter what: LOVE.

Kindness is the key to everything.

Duke and Koa’s friendship made me smile. Both of them were used to how their parents ran things and were occasionally surprised by the different types of rules that exist in other households. It made me smile to see how they adjusted to these moments and how their habits rubbed off on each other. They were both wonderful friends to each other, too. What could be better than that?

I did find myself wishing the narrator had spent a little more time developing the plot. Yes, it was important to explain how someone who is deaf knows when someone is knocking at the door or wakes up at a specific time in the morning, but I thought it was just as important to give a few more examples of how Duke and Koa evolved as a result of their friendship. Had this happened, I would have happily gone for a full five-star rating.

Some of my favorite scenes were the ones that showed how Duke and Koa’s families had adjusted their homes to be more accommodating of the deaf folks – or dogs! – who lived there. I live with someone who is hard of hearing, and we’ve used some of these accommodations in our home! Different solutions are sometimes necessary for people who are completely deaf versus those who can hear certain sounds but not other ones, so it was nice to see such a wide range of options here. I’d happily recommend it to everyone I know who has hearing loss or who loves someone who does.

This is part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone work.

My Dawg Koa was a heartwarming slice of life.

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