Thursday 18 February 2016


Ralf by Jean Jullien (Walker Books)
HC RRP $19.99
ISBN 9781847808189

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Although Ralf the dog is small, he is quite long. At times this causes problems and his owners get a bit cross with him for taking up so much space. He gets upset when they tell him to get out from under their feet. The only place that seems to be safe is stretched out in his kennel. But it’s lonely being alone. It’s harder being a long sausage dog.

On one of the days when Ralf’s in his kennel stretched out and in nobody’s way, with thoughts flooding his mind, he smells smoke. He rushes to the house to investigate but gets his backside stuck in the dog door.  He pulls and pulls. An amazing thing happens. Ralf stretches and stretches himself through the gap. He must get help. But no one wakes although he licks and barks.

Luckily the fireman understands what he’s trying to communicate. Can Ralf, now a much stretched out dog, be the family’s saviour?

This delightful book is about the unswerving loyalty and dedication of animals for humans, even when they are chided for getting underfoot. It will resonate with readers who have pets that demand attention and love being constantly close to humans.

The illustrations in bold lines, strong colours and simple drawings resembling children’s art, will draw readers of the 3+ age. Beautifully presented, it’s another publication from Frances Lincoln, famous for their outstanding children’s books.

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