Review Blog

Oct 21 2015

Sad, the dog by Sandy Fussell

cover image

Ill. by Tull Suwannakit. Walker Books, 2015. ISBN 9781921529641
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Pets, Dogs, Family, Home. A dog given to an older couple as a gift is looked after by them but never given a name. They feed him, wash him, scold him for barking or digging the garden, or tearing up the newspapers but do not name him. So he names himself. He calls himself Sad, because that is how he feels in this home where he is unwanted and unloved. One day the couple pack their belongings and move away leaving Sad behind. A new family arrives and the young boy sees the dog and is instantly excited. The family feeds him, they give him fresh water to drink and take him for a walk. He is given a soft warm bed on the back verandah and when he wakes, Jack is there with a treat. He does all the things he did with his previous family but now he is not scolded or left outside; he is loved, wanted and called by his new name, Lucky.
This is a treat of a story, one full of warmth and charm as the dog is at first not cared for and then finds someone who loves him. Along the way readers will see the difference between owning a dog and loving and caring for a dog, how a dog reacts to the care given it, of how an animal fits into the family. Children will love reading of Sad and marvel at his change of fortune, and be instantly mesmerised by the watercolour illustrations showing the changes in the dog's fortunes as he goes from being alone and dejected to being alive and happy. The endpapers reflect his status beautifully. This is a treat simply as a great story well told and illustrated, but a boon for teachers and parents wanting to discuss the care of a pet.
Fran Knight

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Miles Franklin longlist 2017
Reading Children's Book Prize 2017
Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist 2017
Branford Boase Award shortlist 2017
Text Prize 2017
NSW Premier Literary Awards shortlist 2017
Aurealis Awards winners
YABBA Awards shortlist 2017
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates