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Zak: The One-of-a-Kind Dog: 02/17/10
One of my favorite names is Zak. Zach, Zack and Zac are okay but Zak just tickles my fancy. I chose the picture book Zak: The One-of-a-Kind Dog by Jane Lidz just for the dog's name. I checked it out for myself but Harriet ended up wanting to read it too.
As it turns out, Jane Lidz is a local artist. She specializes in abstracts, geometrics, hearts, landscapes and horses. Her colors are bold and although Zak: The One-of-a-Kind Dog is a departure from where her art seems to be now, I can see how they came from the same creative mind.
Zak is a typical looking mutt dog. From the other children's books that feature dogs, Zak reminds me most of Ralph from Alice, the Cat Who Was Hounded by Jules Rosenthal. He's an ugly Benji. He's a small dog with floopy triangle ears and wiry fur.
Zak decides he needs to know what kind of dog he is. The book chronicles his search for his heritage and identity with photographs that appear to be hand tinted black and whites. He discovers his own unique gestalt and with it an inner peace.
Jane Lidz's book was read on an episode of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. You can read about it on the Neighborhood Archive.