When a blizzard traps a family outside in a whiteout, a cattle dog devises a stunning rescue in a moving, suspenseful, and gorgeously illustrated story.
A family—a mother, a father, and their ten-year-old son—have come all the way from Florida to the Appalachian foothills to experience the wonder of a snowy weekend. At a nearby farm, a cattle dog is working, as she does every day, driving her forty head of cattle from pasture to corral and back again. And then, suddenly, a blizzard descends. The family is trapped outside, disoriented in the whiteout. They are panicked, exhausted, freezing, and stranded in waist-deep drifts. From off in the distance, the cattle dog has heard their faint, snow-drowned cries. Her inexhaustible attention turns to saving them. This stirring tale is both a compelling story of survival and a meditation on the tremendous will of man’s best friend.
Rosen portrays the dog’s attempts to save the family so astutely that readers will feel the dog’s determination and exhaustion, and his somber, parsed descriptions of the blizzard and the family’s subsequent disorientation in the whiteout bring their cold and fear close. The writing is matched by Fellows’ superb watercolor illustrations—expertly rendered scenes that are, thankfully, liberally sprinkled throughout…A fine, superbly illustrated tale of adventure, bravery, and loyalty. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The urgent pace of the cattle dog’s rescue attempt…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. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
When the humans begin to fail in the deep drifts, the heroic dog—and, really, is it not heroism?—hits upon a remarkable stratagem to make straight their way to safety in this snug and handsome volume. —The Wall Street Journal
Exquisite full-page watercolor illustrations throughout combine with an omniscient narrative voice for an appealing package. An excellent selection for fans of survival literature and realistic animal adventure. —School Library Journal
This is gloriously melodramatic sentimental fiction that would make the Victorians proud, and it will be irresistible to animal-loving kids who have been able to withstand the pull of youthful cynicism. —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Lavishly illustrated in full-page watercolors, the book is visually beautiful and will appeal to adults looking for a feel-good dog story to share with a child. —Booklist Online
Numerous full-page color illustrations enhance the narrative in succinct chapters. —School Library Connection