Tuesday 4 October 2022

The Way of Dog

The Way of Dog written by Zana Fraillon, Illustrated by Sean Buckingham (UQP) PB RRP $16.99 ISBN 9780702265563

Reviewed by Sarah Tegerdine

The Way of Dog is a uniquely original and tender-hearted tale written entirely in verse from a dog’s ‘point of snout’ and has an emotional depth that it’s impossible not to be moved by.

Scruffity is born into the harsh life of a puppy farm, torn from his mother. He, along with his pup siblings, huddle together in shock and confusion. As they tremble, they remind each other of their mother’s mantra, ‘Be Strong. Be Fierce. Life is more than a concrete floor’.

Scruffity’s environment is stark, and it becomes increasingly bleaker with each passing day he is not picked to be someone’s pup. The ‘shoe-legs’ who own the farm ‘GrowlManJim’ is a cruel and harsh man but it’s with his son, that a firm and unbreakable bond is formed.

In a swift turn of events, Scruffity is liberated, and he and his ‘ManPup’ flee the farm from which a true heartfelt journey ensues.

Out with the confines of a cage, Scruffity is enthralled by the world around him and revels in feelings of belonging, friendship, and discovery but when tragedy strikes, he is plunged yet again into turmoil and is equally reminded of its ever-present dangers and uncertainties.

The Way of Dog is a visually rich junior fiction experience that will captivate its readers from start to finish. It is wonderfully illustrated throughout by Sean Buckingham and is recommended for children aged between 8 to 12 yrs.

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