cover image The Tale of Rescue

The Tale of Rescue

Michael J. Rosen, illus. by Stan Fellows. Candlewick, $14.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7167-9

Rosen has many dog-themed titles to his credit%E2%80%94The Company of Dogs and The Hound Dog's Haiku, among others%E2%80%94and in this brief tale, he focuses on the heroic effort of one Australian cattle dog to help a family caught in a whiteout snowstorm. The story is told without proper names or deep characterization; readers move through the dramatic action and poetic language as if privy to someone else's dream or recreated memory. The urgent pace of the cattle dog's rescue attempt ("She struggled forward and onward, springing up and onto the snow, sinking down, and leaping again, ignoring the exhaustion and pain, because everything, absolutely everything depended on her") is coupled with striking poetic language during quieter moments: "their overlapping parallel tracks left an empty musical staff on the blank pages of the smooth fields. Later, they returned on foot and their boot prints added the notes." Fellows's watercolor illustrations add an ephemeral quality to the fleeting story, helping create the distant but satisfying tone of this lovely prose-poem adventure. Ages 10%E2%80%93up. (Oct.)