Friday, January 4, 2013

Black Dog

I read another review where the observation was made that Levi Pinfold could probably write a book about anything at all and his amazing artwork would carry it along. I could not agree more with that assessment. I would totally plunk down my money for The Big Book of Lint if Levi had illustrated it.

For starters, this is one of the very few children's books I have seen where the dust jacket is not identical to the hardback cover, but both are equally stunning. Readers can expect all the image they find inside to be every bit as amazing.

One day, a black dog appears in the Hope family's yard. Mr. Hope spots him first and announces him to be the size of a tiger, but the dog increases in size with each family member's sighting. By the time Maurice gets a glimpse, the black dog is reportedly larger than their three storied house. All the Hopes huddle together under the covers, except for one. It is the youngest member of the family, called Small, who dons her coat and steps outside alone to face the beast.

Although the dog appears quite large and very black, Small is not afraid. As she leads him on a merry chase through the trees, across the frozen pond, and through the playground, the black dog following her every step of the way seems to be shrinking. By the time they reach the Hope house, he is small enough to crawl through the cat flap like Small does. When the rest of the family is faced with the reality of sees the dog, they realize he isn't frightening at all,  through thought about how much courage Small had shown. The way the entire family is staring at the black dog while he licks a plate clean, and the very last image of  Small cuddling with him in front of the fire leads me to believe that I just read the story of how the Hope family adopted their dog.

I do like the story, but it is most definitely the illustrations that make the book. They are extremely well done, but just a bit quirky, with odd little bits tucked in every cluttered room. I love every page and hope you will too. 

Review copy provided by Templar Books.   


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