Wednesday 6 February 2019

Saying Goodbye to Barkley

Saying Goodbye to Barkley by Devon Sillett, Illustrated by Nicky Johnston (EK Books) PB
RRP: $24.99 ISBN: 9781925335965

by Anne Helen Donnelly

Olivia is not just a little girl: she is a super hero – Super Olivia! She does good deeds, sniffs out clues and catches bad guys. But she cannot do it alone. Her ever-present, faithful dog, Barkley, is her amazing sidekick. They are inseparable, and together they make the perfect pair.

But one day, Barkley was no longer by her side. Olivia tried to continue fighting crime, but it wasn’t the same. With Barkley gone, Olivia didn’t feel so Super. She was too sad to eat, didn’t want to ‘get on with things’ and didn’t want to wake up from her dreams where Barkley was still there. Olivia thought of Barkley often and realised that he wouldn’t want her to stop doing good deeds and fighting crime. She had an idea.

After a visit to the animal shelter, Oliva chose a dog. A big white fluffy one and named him Spud. Olivia tried to teach Spud how to follow clues and catch the bad guys, but her new dog was rotten at fighting crime. Spud was no Barkley, and Olivia still missed Barkley. But she grew to love Spud for what he was, a loveable lump.

This is a tale that anyone who’s lost a family pet can relate to, with themes of dealing with grief and loss, and moving on. It has lovely illustrations by Nicky Johnston who has previously illustrated for EK. Recommended for boys and girls ages 4 – 8 years old.

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