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THE GREAT SMELLY, SLOBBERY, SMALL-TOOTH DOG by Margaret Read MacDonald

THE GREAT SMELLY, SLOBBERY, SMALL-TOOTH DOG

A Folktale from Great Britain

By Margaret Read MacDonald (Adaptor) , Julie Paschkis (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-87483-808-4
Publisher: August House

In this retelling of an English folktale with a Beauty and the Beast motif, a dog, having earned a reward for saving a man’s life, claims the man’s daughter as his prize. Because the girl misses her father, the dog sets out to take her to visit him on two occasions, but each time he turns around when she is unkind to him. On the third try, the daughter sees the sorrow in the dog’s eyes and begins to feel love for him, at which point the dog transforms into a handsome prince and the two get married. MacDonald’s prose is precise and engaging, but it is Paschkis’s gouache illustrations, in vivid color and sharp detail, that turn this into something magical. The illustrations are set in interestingly shaped panels bordered with golden rope, and the remaining white space is dotted with details featuring various types of flowers. The endpapers depict each of the flowers along with their meanings, encouraging readers to return to the illustrations and the story in search of symbolic connections. (Picture book. 4-10)