Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rosen, Michael J. The Tale of Rescue.

Rosen, Michael J.  The Tale of Rescue.    Candlewick Press  2015  103p  $14.99  ISBN 978-0-7636-7167-9      elem/ms      Animal stories    VG-BN

This the story of a cattle dog who was bred to work long hours herding and protecting the cattle.  She could run for miles without tiring.  This is also a story about a family who were visiting an area to let their son experience snow.  The family had cross-country skied, sledded and built snowmen.  On their last morning they set out to walk the half mile from their cabin to the lodge when they found themselves lost in a complete whiteout.  They continued to plod on for who knows how long.  When the storm abated, four feet of new snow lay on the ground.  Then the freezing rain started.  The family hunkered down in a hollow, out of the wind, and the father occasionally rose to whistle.

Meanwhile the dog awakened to hear the whistle and headed out to find the lost family.  She had to jump and crash through the icy crust to move.  Arriving at the family’s location, she entered their hollow and the family warmed their hands in her fur.  The dog then went home to wake her farmer, but he did not understand.  The dog then drove the herd of cattle toward the family to crush down a path for them to follow.  She had to keep going back to the family to urge them forward.  They arrived at the farmhouse, where they were revived. 

In an epilogue, the boy returns to the farm eight years later to find the elderly farmer with a new dog and no cattle.  He adopts the dog.

This story is beautifully written
, with lush descriptions.  Children from grade 3 up will enjoy it.  While the language is not complicated, the detail and beauty of the words can also be enjoyed by older readers.

Summary:  A sheep dog rescues a family in a blizzard.  Survival tale as well as a paean to the intelligence  and perseverance of dogs.  

Snow rescue-Fiction                                         --Joan Theal

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