Book review: Crash! by Mayra Calvani

A golden retriever puppy chases his tennis ball right into a wall several times. It’s so typical of him (and his breed) that his actions actually win him his name.

The book “CRASH!” by Mayra Calvani is a children’s story about a boy named Marcelo who receives a puppy as a gift from his parents on his fifth birthday. Marcelo immediately begins the important process of choosing a name for his puppy. It can’t be just any name. He says the name has to fit his dog’s personality.

Marcelo bathes, brushes and feeds his puppy, so the story teaches children about dog-owning responsibilities. “CRASH!” is geared towards children between the ages of 2 and 6, a perfect age to begin learning about pet ownership. Marcelo walks his dog, even in the rain. He picks up after his dog like his parents taught him (good parents!) and begins to teach his dog commands like sit, stay and roll over. The puppy also chews on anything he can get his mouth on!

Since I own a Labrador retriever mix, I had to smile when the puppy chased his tennis ball straight into a wall, not just once but repeatedly (sounds like my mutt). Anyone who has owned a golden retriever, or even a lab will appreciate this book. I was interested in the story because I grew up with golden retrievers and figured I could not go wrong with any children’s story about a golden retriever.

The bright illustrations by Anna Pylypchuk tell the story on their own. Pylypchuk is a 16-year-old Ukraine native. Her pictures are enough to keep anyone interested, even a toddler. The story itself is short, about 22 pages, so it’s enough to hold the attention span of 2- to 6-year-old child (or an easily distracted 25-year-old). Children love stories about pets, and this one will teach them the value of owning a dog.

“CRASH!” was published by Guardian Angel Publishing. You can download the e-book for $5, purchase the e-book on CD for $9.95 (plus shipping) or buy the print copy of the book for $10.95 (plus shipping).

Calvani said that 50 percent of all royalties from “CRASH!” will go to Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization. No golden is ever turned away from Almost Heaven because of age or health. Just browse through the photos and profiles of those golden faces.

Check out Calvani’s web site at She is the owner of a beautiful golden retriever, Amigo.

Crash the puppy children's book