Written by Dion Leonard | Illustrated by Lisa Manuzak

Bring home the incredible true story of a friendship so strong that it crosses the globe! Families everywhere will be delighted by the tale of Gobi and Dion—a little lost dog and the ultramarathon runner who saved her. Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart is a fun, engaging picture book perfect for families to enjoy together.



Beautifully designed with a lovely, bright color scheme. The title treatment really pops against the desert background. Very nice combination of fonts and colors.


Really adorable illustrations throughout – though I’m a sucker for dog stories, so take this review with a grain of salt. I particularly like the way Gobi stands out. She’s the focal point of the story, and the illustrator did a great job of portraying that. The people and scenery are nearly background elements. Even when Gobi is interacting with people, she is still very much the primary focus on each page.  Kudos to Lisa Manuzak.


This is a true story that made the news a while back. It’s a fun, simple, but adorable story that the whole family can enjoy. Once you’ve read this version with your kids, you may be interested in the longer version by the same author. I can see this being a storytime favorite for quite some time.


About the Author

Dion Leonard is a 41 year old Australian who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife Lucja. Dion has not only completed but competed in some of the world’s toughest ultra marathons across the planet’s most inhospitable landscapes. This includes running across the brutal Moroccan Sahara desert twice in the 250km Marathon Des Sables and also twice across South Africa’s Kalahari Desert, also 250km. Dion’s latest 250km race across the Gobi Desert in China turned out to be a completely different race where he fell in love with a stray dog (later named Gobi) that followed him during the week and who would change both of their lives forever.

Lisa Manuzak is an illustrator of children’s books and a video game concept artist. Originally from Hawaii, she has lived all over the globe, getting inspired by the world and colors around her. She loves fantastical and magical stories, exploring distant lands, experimenting with art, growing plants, and collecting pets. She currently lives in upstate New York with her husband, their corgi, two cats, and a very large fish.


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