Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Emma Chichester Clark
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Eerdmans, 2007   ISBN: 978-0802853141

When Piper is still a puppy his gentle mother teaches him to “Always obey your master. Always look both ways before you cross the street. And always help anyone in danger.” Piper never forgets her words and he does his best to follow her advice. So when his first master, Mr. Jones, tells him to “take care of the rabbits” in the vegetable patch, Piper does as he is told. Piper does such a grand job that soon the rabbits are very fond of the dog. Mr. Jones is furious however and he hits Piper. Poor Piper feels that he has no choice but to run away from his cruel master and this is just what he does.

On and on Piper runs until he comes to a big city. Here Piper has barely arrived before he saves the life of an old lady at great risk to himself. Piper is injured but luckily his courage does not go unnoticed and the old lady whom he saves takes him in and cares for him. Piper is worried though. Will cruel Mr. Jones come and claim him and take him back to chase rabbits?

Anyone who has had a gentle dog in their life will instantly fall in love with Piper, the dog who plays with rabbits and who looks both ways before he crosses a street. Wonderfully illustrated in rich earth tones, in blues, and in greens, this deeply satisfying story is perfectly suited to being read out loud.