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I received a copy of Mor­gan J. Muir’s Paw Prints through Net­Gal­ley for review pur­pos­es; all opin­ions expressed in this review are my own hon­est thoughts.

 width=Paw Prints
Written by Morgan J. Muir
Illustrated by Sava Andreea

Pub­li­ca­tion Date: August 2019

Genre: Poet­ry, Graph­ic Novel



“They say that pets will leave paw prints on my heart. But I don’t think I believe them.”

Paw Prints is a poignant, illus­trat­ed sto­ry of grief and loss. With full col­or illus­tra­tions on each page, it fol­lows a wom­an’s con­tem­pla­tion on the loss of her young dog as she takes one last walk through their morn­ing routine.

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My Review

This lit­tle book is a quick read, but it’s bound to stay with you—I know it has­n’t left my thoughts since I put it down. Both the illus­tra­tions and the words are haunt­ing­ly beau­ti­ful. The text is lim­it­ed, yet it brings so much addi­tion­al imagery—you would­n’t think it nec­es­sary for an illus­trat­ed poem, yet it makes such an amaz­ing addition.

This poem is one of the most poignant I’ve had the good for­tune to read.  I’ve read it thrice now, and it’s just as pow­er­ful with each sub­se­quent read­ing. Per­haps this is in part because I’m such an ami­nal lover myself.  The emo­tions behind these words and images, though, is undeniable—it tugs at the heart­strings and tru­ly leaves its paw prints on your heart.

Clear­ly I did­n’t know the dog behind this poem (and, being fic­tion, no one’s had that oppor­tu­ni­ty), I feel as though I did. On the one hand, the images, both lit­er­al and through the text, brought him to life. On the oth­er, every read­er has known that dog, in some way. That dog stands in for every pet you’ve ever lost—your own or one you’ve felt close to—and you inher­ent­ly know the speak­er’s pain.

After each read, I’m com­pelled to give each of my pets an extra hug, and to take a few extra moments to appre­ci­ate them.  This grat­i­tude mix­es with the speak­ers grief, prov­ing just how pow­er­ful one lit­tle poem (and its accom­pa­ny­ing illus­tra­tions) can be.

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