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

Friday 5 March 2021

Review: Dog

Another challenge to translate the magnificence of Shaun Tan’s book Dog. Throughout history and perhaps beyond, the deep and lasting friendship between Man and dogs has been documented for its authentic and unchanging relationship.

Books have been written about the loyalty and faith of dogs. This is what Tan succeeds in transferring to the page.

His illustrations display the natural longing to be together and share the love and loyalty that exists between human and animal. 

Only death parts them, but even then one seems to wait for the other.

In the first dark images, unshaped beginnings have no light. The waiting, then the tentative movements toward one another are reflected in the text. The coming together with trust causes a change in both man and beast.

They have become friends. This demands vivid colour and light, signs of a leaping heart filled with joy as loneliness and fear are dispelled. Togetherness is celebrated.

Other dogs and other people in other places and circumstances wait for one another. Colours of fires, dry land, parched by drought, snow filled and lush green pastures. A soldier returning or not, from a bombing site. A dog always waiting for a reunion on the river bank.

The fact is evident that life has changed so drastically. People may have lost their direction and focus. But amidst it all, the thing that remains, is the love and loyalty shared between a dog and a human. This will never change.

This divine picture book is ideal for older readers and adults.

Title: Dog
Author/Illustrator: Shaun Tan
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99
Publication Date: 3 November 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760526139
For ages: 10+
Type: Picture book