Thursday, June 16, 2011
Paisley's Pick - Dog Friday by Hilary McKay
Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster, 1994
Hi, it's me, Paisley! It has been awhile since I have had a book pick. Have you missed me? Are you ready for a good dog book? Amy really likes this book so I have been wanting her to share it with you.
Hilary McKay has become one of my favorite authors, but when I first picked this book up years ago, I hadn't read The Exiles, and Saffy's Angel, the first of the fabulous books about the Casson family, hadn't been written. And, I'm not sure why I picked this book up - it involves an abandoned dog, and a boy recovering from a dog attack, but I'm so glad I did.
It's really more than just a dog book, and the dog in question isn't really around for most of the book...we're calling it a Paisley's Pick anyway. :)
Ten-year-old Robin is recovering from a dog attack and in the process of making himself unafraid of dogs when a new family moves in next door. The Robinsons have four children - twins Ant and Perry, their younger brother Sun Dance (who marches to the beat of his own drum) and their younger sister Beany - as well as a dog named Old Blanket, who is probably the least threatening dog ever. He's so patient and good, the kids put socks on him and paint him to look like a tiger.
Robin befriends the kids, and whether creating Chop Bone Man, standing up to a bully or cooking for guests at the bed-and-breakfast Robin's mother runs, there is never a dull moment with his new neighbors.
One day, Robin finds a starving and abandoned dog on the beach. With the help of his friends, Robin takes the dog, now called Dog Friday, home where his mother insists on notifying the police in case someone is missing him. The policy is that the dog will be kept at the shelter for a week, and if no one claims him by then, Robin can keep the dog. And of course, this leads to other adventures and mishaps.
This is really just madcap fun, and I feel like my review doesn't do it justice. There's lots going on in the hilarious book. It's British, slightly quirky and has an utterly delightful and charming cast of characters. If you've read McKay's other books, you're sure to like to this one as well. And if you haven't read anything by McKay yet, add some of her books to your summer reading list.
There are two more books in this series: The Amber Cat and Dolphin Luck (warning - Old Blanket dies in this one).
Reviewed from library copy