Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Black Dog

Black Dog

Levi Pinfold
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Candlewick Press, 2012   ISBN: 978-0763660970

One morning Mr. Hope looks out of the window and he sees that there is a very large black dog in front of his house. The dog is so large that Mr. Hope grows quite alarmed and he rings up the police. The policeman laughs when he hears Mr. Hope’s story and he tells Mr. Hope not to go outside.

   When Mrs. Hope gets up that morning and sees the dog she too is frightened. Being in a shocked state makes Mrs. Hope’s imagination run wild and to her the dog seems to be “the size of an elephant.” Mr. Hope suggests that they should turn out the lights so that the dog does not know that they are in residence at the moment.

   Both Adeline Hope and Maurice Hope (the older Hope children) are terrified of the big dog and they too are convinced that the dog is enormous, and therefore extremely dangerous. Like their parents, they think that they should hide so that the dog doesn’t see them. Small Hope, the youngest and smallest member of the family, has a different approach. She decides to go outside to confront the dog. Small may be little, but she is willing to face what seems scary.

   With a clever story and lovely, expressive illustrations, Levi Pinfold explores the idea that fear can often lead us to do think and do foolish things. He shows to great effect how facing a fear head on can make that fear seem less intimidating and even manageable.