Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Letters from a Desperate Dog

Letters from a Desperate Dog

Eileen Christelow
Picture Book
For ages 8 to 10
Clarion, 2006   ISBN: 978-0618510030

Emma the dog lives with her master George, and a cat. Most of the time George and Emma get along very well but there are times when they get on each others nerves. One particularly trying day George throws Emma out of the house and Emma decides to go down to the café to read the paper and to catch up on the news. In the paper Emma finds an advertisement in which Queenie, a “new canine advice” columnist offers her help to dogs in need of advice.

Being a dog of action Emma goes to the library and emails Queenie asking the advice columnist what she, Emma, should do about George. Emma and Queenie exchange emails several times as Queenie tries to find the right solution for Emma’s problem. In the end Emma does indeed find the answer though she is clever enough to know that she and George will not always get along.

Anyone who has lived with a dog will quickly recognize the problems that George and Emma are having. What Emma does not realize is that people and their animal companions don’t always get along but that does not mean that they don’t love each other.

The idea that a dog might need advice and seek it out via email will delight young readers. The easy to follow text with its comic book style artwork will appeal to children who like a graphic rich format and Emma’s obvious distress and hope for a resolution makes her endearing and loveable.