Sunday 27 September 2015

Sad, the Dog

Sad, the Dog by Sandy Fussell, illustrations by Tull Suwannakit (Walker Books Australia) HB RRP $31.99

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

The cover of this picture book for readers aged 6+ years is gloomy, and like the dog depicted, it looks sad. An unwanted Christmas present, the nameless dog is looked after competently by an elderly couple, but they don’t really care about it. They are so disinterested in the dog that when they move house, they dump poor Sad.

Happily, life is not always gloom and sadness; there is always hope. And, into the neglected dog’s life comes a new chance at happiness in the shape of a small boy. Jack cares for his new, adopted pet in the way any pet ought to be cared for and by the end of this story this now lucky dog Sad has a new name.

The author, Sandy Fussell, is well-known for her immensely popular Samurai Kids junior novel series, and other prize-winning novels; this is her first picture book. It’s sure to be a winner. The story is told in clear, simple words that are wonderful for reading aloud, especially by a parent to a child; the watercolour illustrations perfectly match the tone of the story.

Offering hope to anyone is probably the best gift anyone can give another, and this book certainly offers a loveless dog much hope by story’s end.

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