A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
There is much (too much) excitement in the Harvey household just now. We are expanding our family with a new addition! That’s her in the above photo, the little one on the right with the white toes already a model at four weeks old. She has no name yet because we cannot agree on just the right one.
I searched through the dusty recesses of the Vulpes Libris storeroom and found this post we did in back in 2008 – Dogs in Literature. Being a den full of animal lovers, I remember it clearly being one we were very excited about. So I figured, since currently I get to sleep by running possible puppy names through my mind, it would be a great time to revisit the subject and pick a few new ones.
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
This is a wonderful book championing the glory of vanishing into a book and experiencing adventures in the pages. As an introduction to the joy of book-loving it’s fabulous. I love Dog’s expressions when he’s waiting, especially when he’s slumped with his face on the desk. I’m sure I’ve pulled that move more than once.
(The guy trapped in Waterstones this week could have read this while he waited!)
Here’s a video of a reading…
One Dog and his Boy by Eva Ibbotson
This is unfortunately the last of Eva Ibbotson’s wonderful books as she sadly died in 2010. As one of the best loved writers of children’s literature this is an outstanding novel for 9-12 year old readers. Hal desperately wants a dog, but his parents absolutely will not allow it. He lives a solitary life in a very posh, very perfect house with his absent father and OCD mother. Hal is well looked after but not very well cared for. His parents reach a new low however when they present him with a dog hoping he’ll get tired of it by the end of the weekend…because it’s RENTED and has to go back. (*wants to do very bad things to his parents*) Hal and Fleck the dog are of course made for each other and circumstances conspire to keep them together.
An amazing adventure ensues with loads of doggy awesomeness, a travelling circus, an orphanage full of kids and a wonderful resolution for everyone. It is, as expected, beautifully written but also beautifully illustrated by Sharon Rentta. This is one of those kids books you hope will be passed from generation to generation. I would love to see my grandchildren reviewing it (in a few decades time, obviously!) as one of their childhood favourites.
The Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Dogs, Dog Breeds and Dog Care by Dr Peter Larkin
Sadly this book appears to be out of print, but my daughter has carried it around with her since she was about eight years old. It is so totally loved that it is dog eared and falling to pieces. However, she still loves it as much today as she did then and since there appears to be zero novels for teenagers these days about dogs, I would go for non-fiction instead. There are some wonderful dictionaries, encyclopaedias and also narrative non-fiction for older dog lovers. For instance Marley and Me or my daughter’s favourite A Dog Year by Jon Katz.
Backlist novel teen choices could possibly include Plague Dogs by Richard Adams…but this completely traumatised me as a child I do remember having some vivid nightmares about it! Any other teen suggestions would be most welcome though, if there are some out there I’ve overlooked.
Also welcome are name suggestions for this little lady who will come to live with us on the 5th November. She’s a fox red Labrador so I wanted to call her Fawkes. Unfortunately the kids are old enough now to veto and Fawkes and Thistle have both been thrown out. As has Ruby, Finn, any Scottish Island name, all “doggish” names and many human ones. Fife might still be in the running…today. Who would have thought naming a dog would be so difficult?! Send me your favourite dogs in literature names, please!