Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart {Picture Book Giveaway}

Every so often we come along a book that has such an uplifting story, you really can't help, but feel all warm and fuzzy inside after reading it. That's exactly the sentiment we felt after reading our latest picture book, Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart. The really neat thing about this book is that it's actually a true story.

Bring home the incredible true story of a friendship so strong that it crosses the globe! Families everywhere will be delighted by the tale of Gobi and Dion—a little lost dog and the ultramarathon runner who saved her. Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart is a fun, engaging picture book perfect for families to enjoy together.

Dion Leonard is a 41 year old Australian who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife Lucja. Dion has not only completed but competed in some of the world’s toughest ultra marathons across the planet’s most inhospitable landscapes. This includes running across the brutal Moroccan Sahara desert twice in the 250km Marathon Des Sables and also twice across South Africa's Kalahari Desert, also 250km. Dion's latest 250km race across the Gobi Desert in China turned out to be a completely different race where he fell in love with a stray dog (later named Gobi) that followed him during the week and who would change both of their lives forever.

Sometimes the best friendships are forged during the unlikeliest times. That's just what happened when marathon runner, Dion Leonard, met a stray dog (who he later named Gobi) in of all places, the Gobi Desert. During the beginning stint of Leonard's Gobi Desert Run, this little border terrier mix began tagging right beside him. As grueling as the run was, little Gobi stood beside her new friend running seventy-seven miles of the one hundred and fifty-five mile race. Now that's loyalty!

Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart is completely based on a true story that's summarized and broken down into an age-appropriate picture book for children. The illustrations by Lisa Manuzak are pretty amazing, right down to the fine lines and beautiful colors. 

What we really took away from this story is that it teaches children several lessons. Some of these include, compassion, kindness, and even flexibility in the way we often go about things from day to day. You see, Leonard was the type of individual who liked to keep going without losing focus–his actual motto was, "Never look back." Of course, he had to soon change his way of thinking when he met Gobi. It was obvious that the perseverance of this little dog really made Leonard rethink his whole outlook and even break his golden rule of not looking back (something I won't give away, here, but is better explained in the actual book). This actually reminded me of the plans that God has for each of us. Sometimes we wake up with a whole set of to-do items on our list, and we'd like nothing more than to tackle each one without any setbacks or interruptions. Of course, sometimes God has something else in store for us, causing us to adapt our original plans.

Loyalty is another value that children will take away from this story. Gobi knew she had found a new friend, and she stood by him even during the rough moments of the race. Then there is the loyalty of Leonard as he took care of Gobi and helped her, so they could finish the trek together as a team. Ah, that reminds me of another value that is taught in this story, as you may have already guessed, the importance of teamwork!

This book was such a pleasure to read. I was happy to see that it was based off of the author's original paperback, which I definitely intend to pick up. There's also a young reader's edition of this story, which is perfect for older children. No matter which version of the book you choose, the heartwarming story of Gobi and Dion Leonard is one that will surely resonate with many readers out there.

I am so happy to be giving away a copy of the picture book version of Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart. This is a story that you'll definitely want to share with your children! To enter the giveaway, please follow the prompts, below.

Children's Picture Book Giveaway