A father and his son go through the family’s portrait gallery, each painting a reminder of the brave deeds and extraordinary lives of their ancestors. Between Uncle Scooter and Aunt Frida, Pup seems to be last in a line made of formidable fire dogs, running champions and talented artists, and as inspiring as those stories are, they also light up a flicker of self-doubt – alongside a great deal of eagerness – in the young protagonist: what will he achieve or become? Can he live up to his family’s history?
A lovely tale about family and aspiration, Davide Cali’s book is enriched by a charmingly unexpected conclusion which makes of identity, acceptance and support its main message.
Cali’s delightful prose is supported by Miguel Tango’s beautiful illustrations. The fold-out pages hiding stories of Pup’s elders make for an entertaining read, each little tale springing to life with every page turn. The contrast between the yellow and grey of delicately hand-drawn scenes and the vibrant mint green on which the text is printed is an absolute eye-catcher and subtly conveys the contrast between tradition and Pup’s enthusiasm.
Great Dog is a short read, with yet a very important message at its heart, one which I would recommend every single pup… or young reader aged 2-4, 5-8 to unfold!