This stunning novel about an orphaned puppy and a runaway boy captured my heart and lingered there long after I finished reading. Written in verse and told from Scruffity the dog’s POV, the story is pared back to its very essence and will fully engage your senses and emotions, with no other distractions. And Sean Buckingham‘s tender, emotional illustrations go hand in hand with the tone of the novel.
Author Zana Fraillon brings us so close to Scruffity and the energy with which he experiences the world that, when he escapes the dreaded DeadDogBin and unexpectedly finds connection and belonging with a boy he calls MyManPup, we cannot help but experience the intensity of Scruffity’s eventual loss when an accident separates him from the boy he loves. From that moment onwards, it’s a rollercoaster of soaring hope and plummeting despair as Scruffity does everything in his power to be reunited with MyManPup.
And yet, despite the all-consuming grief Scruffity is experiencing, he cannot help but open his huge doggy heart to others who are in need of a dog like him. The author skilfully weaves these people – two young sisters, a prisoner, and a homeless busker into the fabric of Scruffity’s story, showing us his willingness to love again, despite repeated losses and heartache. And each character has a part to play in reuniting Scruffity with MyManPup in an ending that can only be described as poetic. I do hope many readers will become well-versed in The Way of Dog!
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