THE CITY DOG | Kirkus Reviews

Tom and his beloved dog must separate.

Sandy, a yellow Lab, has belonged to Tom since he was a puppy. But Tom’s family is moving overseas, and Sandy is to begin a new life at Uncle Ben’s sheep farm. Uncle Ben welcomes him, but his lead dog, Captain, definitely does not. The border collie refers to Sandy as City Dog and lets him know that he is there to work moving sheep. So he follows Captain’s lead and learns his job, even earning Uncle Ben’s approval. When a bush fire threatens the sheep, Sandy and Captain bravely work as a team to lead them to safety. Uncle Ben hails the two dogs as heroes, and this is the real beginning of a canine friendship. Sandy has not only acclimated to life on the farm—he realizes that he really likes it. Although his love for Tom is undiminished and he is joyful when Tom visits, now he knows where he belongs. Sandy narrates his own story of love and adventure in the first canine. Young readers will relate to his almost-human voice, but his essential dogginess is never in question. Argent’s colorful illustrations are detailed and focused. Characters are often shown in close-up, showing their every emotion; all the humans present White. There is a strong sense of place, with the atmosphere and language indicating an Australian setting.

Adventure, bravery, and love make for a warm, tender tale.

(Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: today

ISBN: 978-1-76036-132-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Starfish Bay

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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