Hal's parents are rich. His huge house has sweeping silk curtains, expensive carpets and not a speck of dirt anywhere.
"A DOG?!" cries his mother. "Never! Think of the mess, the scratch marks... the puddles on the floor..."
But on Hal's birthday, a miracle happens. And when he sees Fleck at the Easy Pet Agency, he knows he's found his perfect dog.
Whatever his parents say, he will never give Fleck up. If dog and boy are to stay together for more than the weekend, they'll have to run away...
I must confess that before reading One Dog and His Boy I hadn't read, and didn't own, a single book by Eva Ibbotson. I am now very glad to have discovered her books and can totally understand why she is/was one of Britain's most-loved Children's authors. Sadly she passed away in 2010 after completing One Dog and His Boy, her last book.
Even though this book was written as a children's book, I can see readers of all ages falling in love with Hal and Fleck in this story of a boys love for "his" dog and a dog's love for his boy. The basic premise of the story is this; Hal has always wanted a dog, but his parents (who are too busy and house-proud) won't allow him one. He has begged for years for one. Finally, his parents decide to get him one for his birthday from the Easy Pets dog rental company. They don't tell Hal that it's just for the weekend.
When Fleck is returned to Easy Pets, Hal (and Fleck) are heartbroken, and Hal sets off to get Fleck back. What follows is a story of great determination and adventure, showing the great bond that has formed between the boy and dog. Along their journey they are met and accompanied by a girl called Pippa and four other dogs, each with their own personality and story.
I absolutely loved this story of love that one can find with a pet. It brought back memories of my own "love-story" with a cat called Muffin when I was Hal's age.
This book is a perfect read for young children up to ages 10/11, and makes for a very fun bedtime story!
This was an absolutely gorgeous story that really took me back to the kind of books I read in my childhood. I found I couldn't help but like and feel sorry for the main character of Hal, whose parents totally miss what true happiness is all about (insert fantastic message for kids about money not buying everything!). When he finally gets his much longed for dog, he is ecstatic and when he fights to keep his dog, I couldn't help but cheer him on.
He sets off an adventure filled with good intentions and having his new friends welfare at heart and I'm sure than younger readers will, like me, be glued to the pages wondering how the next scrape will resolve itself.
This book truly felt like it captured something of the books that my generation grew up on, the likes of Enid Blyton and similar authors, a story of a great adventure but with some great messages that would hopefully really leave an impression on children. This one book I'll definitely be saving for my kids to read when they are older. I may even read it to them now, a chapter each night, I suspect Miss 5 will love it!
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NOTE: This book contains mature themes and descriptive content. Caution is advised for younger readers.
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