War Dogs: Churchill and Rufus

Kathryn Selbert. Charlesbridge, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-58089-414-2
Selbert’s debut illuminates the private and public personas of Winston Churchill in the thick of WWII. A warm, gentle side of his personality is evident through his interactions with his tan poodle, Rufus. Soft acrylic and collage illustrations capture the bond between the two, with Rufus looking on as the prime minister delivers a radio address at the House of Commons, accompanying his master while he surveys damage from German bombs, and helping Churchill “keep his spirits up” as he works with his allies to plan the invasion of Normandy. Quota­tions from Churchill’s speeches, set apart from the rest of the text, underscore his eloquence and aptitude as a diplomat. Selbert’s concise narrative addresses bombings, military operations, and rebuilding efforts in way that’s straightforward, but not frightening; after a nighttime raid (“Their home is under attack. The city smells of fire”), a somber wordless spread shows the blacked-out city of London shrouded in smoke, the outline of St. Paul’s cathedral barely visible. A WWII time line and biographical anecdotes about Churchill conclude this revealing dual portrait of a devoted pet owner and resolute politician. Ages 7–10. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/10/2012
Release date: 02/01/2013
Open Ebook - 48 pages - 978-1-60734-598-5
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-1-58089-415-9
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