Book review: Bob the Railway Dog: The True Story of an Adventurous Dog, by Corinne Fenton, illustrated by Andrew McLean

Fenton, Corinne. Bob the Railway Dog: The True Story of an Adventurous Dog. Andrew McLean, illustrator. Candlewick Press, 2015. First US edition 2016. $16.99. ISBN 9780763680978. Unpaged. Ages 5-8. P8Q8

I enjoyed this true story about Bob, a dog who rode the rails in Australia in the late 1880s. A bunch of homeless dogs were sent to be rabbit hunters in outback South Australia in 1884. Bob was one of them, but ended up being “adopted” by Guard Ferry. The lovely, atmospheric watercolor and pencil illustrations in muted but warm colors accompany the story of Bob’s travels with the railroad and give a picture of what Australia looked like at that time. Bob came and went as he pleased- he was a rambling dog- but stopped in to see Guard Ferry from time to time. I found the book to be a heartwarming story that I’m sure will please children who love dogs or are fascinated by trains.

VERDICT: This would be a good choice for an elementary school library or classroom. Children and parents alike will enjoy the story and the lovely illustrations.

April 2017 review by Carol Schramm.

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