Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Central Park Media, $19.99 (800-833-7456, x214p) ISBN 978-1-58664-399-7
No, it's not a typo: this adaptation of a bestselling Korean picture book does indeed star a doggy poo. When said poo is deposited along a dirt village road by a stray pooch, the brown protagonist quickly learns that the world can be a confusing place. The poo is pecked at by birds and dismissed by a hungry hen and her chicks. Feeling useless ("What am I good for?") the dejected poo receives encouragement from a mound of soil and a fallen leaf. "God has not created you for no reason. He must have a good plan for you," the soil says. After seasons pass and many tears are shed, the poo finds the meaning of his life when a dandelion sprouts nearby, needing him as fertilizer to grow into a beautiful flower. The stop-motion clay animation here holds much appeal for aficionados of the form; this production has already won anime awards. A wistful piano score keeps the tone of the movie on course. Though viewers must suspend plenty of disbelief to go along on this journey, those who persevere will be rewarded, as Kwon's message of acceptance, sacrifice and purpose is a commendable one. DVD extras include a "making of" segment, music video and Korean language translation. All ages.
Reviewed on: 03/15/2004