Safe Ruby by Julie Starkey. Illus. by Hannah Starkey-Morris

cover image

Searching for a home and all that a home converts: love, warmth and safety, Ruby’s ad in the local supermarket attracts a number of willing new owners. But Ruby just outlives her welcome with them. Mrs Docker takes her home, but Ruby loves the washing on the line. Then Mrs Lane has a go, but Ruby digs up her vegetable garden. Anastasia tries to offer her a home, but Ruby hides her juggling balls. Stefan offers Ruby a home, but Ruby chases kangaroos on her walks and so is returned. Then Mrs Parish takes her home, but when she chews her slippers, she is again returned. Finally Sarah and her dog, Ket take her home and here she pulls washing off the line, digs up the veggie garden, chases kangaroos, hides Keeta’s ball, chews Sarah’s slippers and wags her tail. When Keeta wags her tail the trio knows they will live together forever.

This heart warming story of finding a home will enthral younger readers as they work out what a home means to them. All the warmth of companionship, of belonging and of safety comes through the story of Ruby searching for a place to be herself.

Delightful illustrations penned by the author’s granddaughter when she was four, cover many pages. Full of colour and movement, younger readers will be tempted to try out this style for themselves, illustrating their own idea of home.

Information about the author, illustrator and Ruby can be found at the end of the book, where we find that the word, SAFE is an acronym for Saving Dogs From Euthanasia, an organisation which tries to save as many dogs as possible. A salutary reminder of the importance of finding Ruby a home. Teacher's notes are available. Safe Ruby is available from the publisher.

Themes: Euthanasia, Dogs, Rescue dogs, Humour, Broome.

Fran Knight