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I felt like I was there too because I knew the story so well!

By: 'Autumn Grooby (8 years)' - 4th of August 2009

‘I Was There’ is a picture book which tells Bible stories from the New Testament. The story is told through the eyes of a cute, little dog. The dog follows Jesus’ journey throughout his life, miracles, crucifixion and resurrection.


On each page the dog briefly tells a Bible story by saying When Jesus … and then he says ‘I was there’.


The pictures focus on the dog and his feelings about what is happening in each Bible story. When Jesus died the dog cries and looks very sad. When Jesus is laid in the tomb the dog looks lonely. When Jesus is resurrected the dog is happy, his tail is wagging and he happily walks away beside Jesus. I really enjoyed looking at the pictures of how the dog was feeling. It helped me to better understand the stories.


I was excited when I read the book because I knew many of the stories already because I had learned them in RE at my school (St Aloysius College), heard them from Father Newman at the Cathedral, and at Mass with Father Alex at my Parish.


Last week Father Alex told us the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ clothes because she wanted to be healed. In the book the dog says ‘When the woman touched the fringe of Jesus’ cloak … I was there’. I felt like I was there too because I knew the story so well!


Last week I made my First Reconciliation with Father Newman a the Cathedral. Father Newman told us that God is always with us and loves every creature. I know that when I confessed my sins ‘Jesus was there’.


The dog loved Jesus, Jesus loved the dog, I love Jesus, and Jesus loves me.


I really enjoyed reading this book because it made me happy to think Jesus had a pet to love and share his journey. I think other children would learn a lot from reading it. As it is a picture book it probably best suits schoolchildren up to around Year 4.


– Autumn Grooby (8 yrs), Review of ‘I Was There’ by Barbara Allen in ‘The Southern Cross’, 28 August 2009.

..children learn that they too are loved by Je

By: 'Fr Michael Goonan, SSP' - 26th of July 2009

Imagine a little dog that followed Jesus during his earthly ministry. What did it see? What did it feel?


This beautiful children’s book tells the story of Jesus’ life through the eyes of a little dog who is tagging along on the adventure. With simple but engaging illustrations, this book is suitable for children from age three upwards.


Children quickly identify with the dog that is the same height as they are. Like the dog, they spend a lot of time looking at ankles and knees. In this book all the illustrations are from the dog’s perspective. We rarely see human faces; this is, in fact, the perspective of many children.


The affection of Jesus for the puppy is comforting, and children learn that they too are loved by Jesus.


On each page there is an illustration of an event in the life of Jesus, with just two lines of text. On the bottom corner of each page is the Gospel reference, so adults can refer back to the Gospel story with the child. It is an ideal way to introduce children to the stories of Jesus’ life.


Of course ‘dog’ is ‘God’ spelt backwards! Pets can reveal much of the God-given gifts of unconditional love, forgiveness, loyalty, devotion and joy. Animal lovers will delight in this book which reminds us all that animals are very important in God’s creation.


This beautifully produced, hardcover, durable product will survive the many accidents that can happen at the hands of small children.


It will be loved by children, and bring a smile to the faces of many adults.


– Fr Michael Goonan, SSP, Review of ‘I Was There’ by Barbara Allen in ‘The Catholic Weekly’, 26 July 2009.


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