101 Dalmatians

Most Americans, especially children, are familiar with the Disney version of the 101 Dalmatians story.  But as with most movies based upon books, the book is so much better!

Many of the characters – both human and dog – are the same in both the movie and the book.  However, Perdita is not Pongo’s wife, she is a foster mother to half of Pongo & Missus’s 15 pups.  Cruella de Ville is just as awful, but in the book she has an equally awful husband.

I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith.  One thing bothered me a little – Missus Pongo is portrayed as rather helpless (she can’t tell her right from her left – and the gentlemen dogs gently enjoy her confusion).  But she dearly loves her pups, and bravely leaves the comforts of home with Pongo to track down her pups.

Children who might be frightened of the movie depiction of Cruella would probably be able to handle the book version.  In the book, the dalmatians have less interaction with Cruella and while there is some suspense as they try to make it back to London without her finding them, it’s not as suspenseful as the movie.

Highly recommended for all ages.

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