A Canadian family’s emotional life is enriched by the affections of a shaggy white dog.
Nine-year-old Kix and his younger sister, Emilia, are delighted by the unexpected appearance of a Great Pyrenees who quickly adopts them as his family. While the children unreservedly embrace their new pet, naming him Sam, their parents are more cautious, as it emerges that he belongs to the violent son of the curmudgeonly old couple across the road. Sam’s former master is in a mental institution following the failure of his farm, and the rightful ownership of the skittish dog, desperately in need of both physical and emotional nourishment, becomes a source of bitter contention between and within the two families. A dramatic, heart-stopping denouement finally brings an end to the tension. The elegant simplicity of both the prose and the lively pen-and-ink illustrations allows the full power of the feelings to shine through. Van de Vendel (The Dog that Nino Didn’t Have, 2015, etc.) based this novel, translated from the Dutch, on an actual experience he had while visiting relatives in Canada. While the characters’ race is never specified, all appear from the illustrations to be white.
A moving and memorable tale of love, forgiveness, and compassion among beings both human and canine. (Fiction. 8-12)