Fat Pat, by Kilmeny Niland

Fat Pat was a very sweet dog.
Everybody loved him.

Everybody loved Pat. And everybody who loved him fed him and pampered him. Pat is an overfed, under-exercised, adored pet with a weight problem. So when the vet prescribes a weight-loss program, Pat is convinced that the family have ceased loving him. He runs away. Life on the run is full of danger and deprivation, until Pat is caught and taken to the Lost Dog’s Home. Reunited with his family, Pat discovers that his family still love him. His perspective on life has been subtly altered by his time away from home. Life will be different now, but better.

A bright yellow hardback cover with a roly-poly puppy on the front with watermelon slice endpapers – who could resist a view of the world from the perspective of this main character? Pat is very happy with his life, but it’s not good for him. The vet’s visit brings about a big change to Pat’s life and since food has been the symbol of love for him, he thinks he is no longer loved. As he roams the streets after his escape he experiences fear as well as hunger. His return home reinforces the love he thought he’d lost. ‘Fat Pat’ is a large square format picture book full of bright images, mostly set on white backgrounds. A bright red table at the vets signals a warning that things are about to change. Small vignettes take the reader through the first week of changes and are wordless except for the labelling of the days. The scene of Pat’s leaving is bleak and echoes his tears. His safe return home is simply illustrated with an image of his loving family. This provides a contrast to the opening pages where the focus is on what the family provides. A charming book for young children, with a subtle message for all dog owners.

Fat Pat

Fat Pat, written & illustrated Kilmeny Niland
ABC Books 2008
ISBN: 9780733322396

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