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Local writer’s book is ‘an entertaining read’

Author Fiona Elkinson reads her book, A Dog in a Bag, to students at Once Upon A Time Nursery (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Book Review: Must Reads For Youth

A Dog in a Bag by Fiona Elkinson (Ages 3-5)

Join Oliver, the cute chihuahua protagonist, and his human friend, Dami, as they prepare to travel and search for the elusive Bermuda Triangle in Fiona Elkinson’s vibrant duology, A Dog in a Bag.

In the first picture book of this fun and simple duology, Oliver is ready to board a plane but is unsure of what bag he should travel in. He tries an assortment of potential carriers, ranging from a recycling bag to a sleeping bag! The chihuahua’s clever commentary makes this a funny montage that will surely have kids excitedly guessing what bag Oliver will try next. The small dog never gives up, eventually finding the appropriate bag to prepare for take-off. Complying with airline regulations is definitely no joke for Oliver the little chihuahua!

In the next book, Oliver (in his new travelling bag!) and Dami fly to Bermuda together, where they overhear the urban legend of the Bermuda Triangle from some other schoolchildren. Oliver makes it his mission to unearth the secrets of this bizarre island mystery during their stay. The moment they land, they’re on the move looking for clues through various colourful cultural landscapes.

I particularly enjoyed the bright imagery of Bermuda’s lovely beaches, marine life, and the City of Hamilton; the lively depictions of the two friends enjoying all Bermuda has to offer will surely draw your child in for an entertaining read. The subtle educational aspect is also not to be overlooked: from observing the residential architecture of white limestone roofs that collect rainwater, to a pink and blue bus, to hopping on to a boat and watching everything from ferries to fishing boats on the water, Oliver and Dami show the reader many experiences unique to island life. The references to Jewish culture also add another layer, such as Yiddish words like “nosh” being used by Oliver.

This clear cultural exploration is varied and accurate, illustrating Bermuda as the cheerful and beautiful island it is proud to be. Oliver and Dami search far and wide for the legendary Bermuda Triangle (even going into space for a bird’s-eye view at one point) before finally reaching a conclusion after consulting a library.

Personally, I find reading books about Bermuda by local authors to be a rich cultural experience and I am overjoyed to have been given this series to review by Elkinson. I strongly encourage any other talented Bermuda-based writers to share their works – or others’ works – about our island home with me; I strive for this column to include national as well as international talent to better spread our Bermuda pride through reading and writing.

On a final note, I would also like to hear your thoughts on my column. For any comments on A Dog in a Bag or simply to give me a book recommendation of whatever you’re reading at the moment, contact me at bookspacebda@gmail.com to tell me all about it!

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Published August 07, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated August 07, 2023 at 7:25 am)

Local writer’s book is ‘an entertaining read’

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