The front cover makes it known that this is a “True NZ Story” and an initial look at the illustrations printed on matt paper made me think ‘old fashioned’. However, I didn’t realise quite how long ago the story was set until I read the page of factual notes at the end of the book – 1855.
Friday, the collie sheepdog, will tug at heartstrings as she is so loyal to her master, and refuses to work for anyone else, despite them giving her the appropriate verbal commands. The mutual devotion is reciprocated when James Mackenzie escapes from custody (for committing sheep rustling) several times and attempts to find his faithful companion.
Two or three Maori words are used in the story and it is unfortunate that there is no English translation for these at the back of the book, although one can take a guess at what they may mean from the context.
Although historical fiction is often avoided by youngsters, children will relish this action-packed novel, as any boring bits have been omitted. By the time they reach the end of the story, they will probably be so interested that they will happily read the page of facts when they happen upon them.
Title: Friday The Rebel Dog
Illustrator: Raymond McGrath
Date of Publication: 2020
Do you have any advisory warnings for this book? This story is about a criminal, which may not be immediately apparent to children. However, the strong bond between the faithful dog and his criminal master shines through more than the misdemeanours.
Reviewer: Nadine Molloy, Library Assistant, Remarkables Primary School, Queenstown
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? “The collie dog slipped silently through the starlit night.”
You can buy this book here