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

Thursday 29 June 2023

Review: Australia's Dogs

We Aussies love our dogs – they’re a massive part of Australian life. 

Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, with almost 40% of households including one or more dogs?

Did you also know that old photos often contain blurred dogs who wouldn’t stay still for old-fashioned cameras?

Well now you do!

Australia’s Dogs contains these fun facts and a lot more besides. This amazing book is a tribute to the dogs who share our lives in every way. 

A rich visual history with marvellous anecdotes, it explores what dogs have brought to our work and lives, and how they’ve crept into our mind and hearts along the way!

The photos come from the wonderful collections of Australia’s National Library and cover all manner of canine grins including pets, working, service and wild dogs. We see dogs in motion, smiling dogs, outback dogs, city dogs, dogs in danger, dogs on boats, in drawing rooms and on trailers. We see sled dogs and cattle dogs roaming door to door with returned diggers. We meet dogs on motorbikes, running the sheep, in wedding pictures and as sporting or infantry mascots.

It seems that we are (rightfully!) suckers for our canine companions, and through this marvellous book we’re taken into unexpected territory where we find dogs in bush hospitals, prisons and wartime internment camps. We learn about the role of dingoes and indigenous life, conservation and Australia’s own dog breeds.

In short, we see - through a glorious compendium of old and new photographs - exactly why dogs are such favoured companions. Some of the photos are taken by professionals and record significant moments, while others are family snaps of beloved pets or taken by people along the way.

An extraordinary amount of work, detail and love has obviously gone into the compilation and presentation of this book, paying perfect homage to our favourite fur children. It’s a delight from start to finish. And with poignant, funny and truly magnificent images (even the fuzzy ones), this book is an absolute gem.

While not officially a children’s book, this book is absolutely perfect for every age group. Recommended for small people right through to great, great-grandparents

Title: Australia’s Dogs
Author: Katherine Kovacic
Publisher: National Library of Australia, $34.99
Publication Date: 1 May 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922507457
For ages: 8+
Type: Non-fiction Picture Book