My buddy Walker is a black dog. A big black dog. When we go places, I always hear people commenting on how big he is. I don’t think he’s all that big – I’ve known much bigger dogs than Walker. But he’s a good size. I have heard that people tend to be afraid of big black dogs. Shelters claim that big black dogs are the hardest to find homes for. I’ve never seen anyone be afraid of Walker. That may be because his tail is ALWAYS wagging and he usually has some kind of pacifier in his mouth.
Not very fearsome, I don’t think. Walker, himself, used to be a fearful boy. He was afraid of lots of things when he was a pup. Thought for sure that the vacuum cleaner would gobble him up. As would the little kids at school.
He ate his dinner next to the vacuum for a long time and now he actually likes to be vacuumed! And I had to go to school with him a lot to show him that kids were actually a good thing. We discovered that those pacifiers made a big difference for him. Now he’s the official greeter in the school halls.
I, myself, went through a time in my younger days when I would encounter things that gave me a fright. But I learned that most of those fearful moments got a lot smaller when I faced them head on and looked at them from a different angle.
Fear can make us do some crazy things. And lots of times because of fear we miss out on some good things.
Black Dog was published in 2011 by Templar Books.
The book flap says, “This is a story about being afraid. It’s also a story about not being afraid. It all depends on how you see things.”
It is the story of the Hope family who live in a house all alone in the woods. One morning Mr Hope looked out the window and saw a black dog the size of a tiger. It really scared him and he called the police. Then Mrs Hope saw the dog and it appeared to be as big as an elephant. So they turned out the lights. As each member of the family wakes up and sees the dog out the window, the dog gets bigger and bigger and the family gets scareder and scareder. Until the youngest Hope, called Small, got up. Small got dressed and went out to face the dog.
Small was indeed very small. And the dog was indeed very large. But Small was not afraid. Small took off running and the dog chased after her. As she ran, Small sang. And as the dog chased, it got smaller.
And in the end, the family sees that the dog was not so big and scary after all.
This is a wonderful book. The artwork is scrumptious and fun. The family is quite funny. And Small is quite clever.
A book about being afraid. And about not being afraid.
I give this book all 4 Paws up!!!
Black Dog was the winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Award for 2013 and you can learn more about that here.
And here is an interview with Levi Pinfold —
I hope that all the Black Dogs that you encounter have wagging tails —