‘Baaaa! Baaaaaa! Baaaaaddddd!’ Sheep in a panic make a pawful lot of noise.
‘Can we take the boat to rescue them?’ James shouted. (He had to shout over the noise of the rain, the sheep and the river.) ‘Stamp and your dog work well together. They can help by keeping the sheep in a bunch.’
‘Too Risky, yelled Glen Pepper. Rain dripped off his long nose. ‘Look at that!’
He pointed as a whole tree tore past us on the flood. ‘If that hit the boat, we’d tip over!’
Rusty, the old Border Collie, barked once, sharply. Then he growled, ‘Do something! Quickly!’ to Glen.
Glen stared at the sheep and shook his head. Rain poured down. It was like having a big bucket of water tipped over us.
‘Why are humans so slow?’ said Rusty. ‘Those sheep need help!’
Stamp (full name: Barnaby Station Stamp of Approval) is a young border collie and this is his story. He is travelling around Australia with James. James is taking a year off before going to university. James uses the CB radio in his Fourby (ute) to maintain regular contact with his parents at home. Each title includes a list of characters, glossary and many doggy puns. Most openings include black and white illustrations.
In Farm Rescue they take shelter on Pepper Plains when they encounter floods. There Stamp meets Rusty, an older border collie. When the floodwaters rise, it’s up to them to save some sheep. At the end of ‘Farm Rescue’ James adopts another dog, a young and wild pup he calls Ace.
In Bush Rescue, James, Stamp and Ace visit a vet in Jasper. Unfortunately, there’s a bushfire raging and there’s no time for anything but emergency services. James helps out at the vet and together they are involved in pet and wild animal rescue.
In Storm Rescue , James, Stamp and Ace head north into far north Queensland in search of adventure. This time the adventure comes in the form of a cyclone and all three are kept busy with rescues and more in the Atherton Tablelands.
Pup Patrol is told from Stamp’s perspective and Stamp and all the animals he encounters can talk to one another. Stamp is well-behaved and skilled at working with James. Ace, on the other hand is young and a little wild. But between them, James and Stamp teach him how to behave. Each adventure presents a different part of Australia experiencing extremes of weather. There are plenty of insights into dog behaviour and dog training. And there are many puns to set readers giggling. (Perhaps also to encourage them to invent some of their own?) Recommended for newly independent readers ready for chapter books.
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller