Littledog found us one holiday evening.
He was waiting at the shack when we got back from the beach.
Sam and his family are at the beach for the summer holidays. They are befriended by a small dog they immediately christen Littledog. Despite their best efforts to find Littledog’s owners, no one claims him. One by one he wins over the family, slowly and cheerfully overcoming all opposition. By the end of the holidays, he has become one of the family. Illustrations are full page and imbued with summer’s golden hues. The scenes are iconically Australian from the ‘shack’ to the barbecue on the verandah. The characters are simply drawn and reflect the magic of long summer days. Littledog is just plain cute with his floppy ear and perky tail. Endpapers are a luscious collage of craft fabrics and summer fun.
Littledog appears from nowhere and attaches himself to Sam and his family. He fits right in with their relaxed holiday lifestyle and wags ‘his whole bottom’ to show his happiness. There’s a definite sense of him choosing them to stay with. It does raise the question though of where he came from, a question that isn’t answered although the family do try to find out. Sam is the nominal narrator, but the story belongs to the entire family. Littledog captures long, lazy summer days, family fun and the joys of pet ownership (even if the last is unexpected). Recommended for pre- and early schoolers.
Littledog, Katrina Germein, ill Tamsin Ainslie,
Scholastic Press 2010
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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