'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 25 January 2021

Review: The Hospital Dog

Julia Donaldson’s emotive text in The Hospital Dog has lively rhyming verse that keeps time with Sara Ogilvie’s stunning illustrations. 

They move across the page full of activity, in brilliant colour, and with the main character, Dot the Dalmatian. 

Ogilvie pays attention to detail, especially the expressions on the character’s faces and their body language. The small but significant additions here and there in the illustrations add a personal touch, allowing them to visually contribute something that expands the story.

Spectacular covers and matching jacket covered in images of children having fun, guarantee the reader’s interest.

Dot is a hospital dog. Her daily routine is standard. After breakfast and a swim with her owner Rose, there is a bus ride to the hospital and a walk straight to the Wallaby Ward.

There, Dot’s job is to cheer up and entertain the sad, bored, scared, noisy and sick children and babies that Dot and Rose love to visit. A pat, hug, lick, play, or an offered paw from the caring canine, makes all the difference to every one of them.

But when the brave Dot’s heroic actions put her in the same position as the children on Wallaby Ward, how will she visit them, if she can’t walk and play?

This delightful story reflects the important role of hospital dogs, what they offer to sick people – especially children, and the ties of love that bind together humans and animals.

Another wonderful title by the gifted Donaldson to be added to her list of award-winning titles that include The Detective Dog, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and What the Ladybird Heard.

Title: The Hospital Dog
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, $26.99
Publication Date: 24 November 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781509868315
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book