Tag Archives: Levi Pinfold

A Street Dog Named Pup

I seem to be – figuratively – surrounded by dogs these days, mostly rescue dogs. In A Street Dog Named Pup, by Gill Lewis, you meet many dogs, all of them personalities for you to like or love. Pup especially.

We meet him when he’s being removed from his boy in the middle of the night. He loves his boy and the boy loves Pup. But both are young and at the mercy of adults. It doesn’t seem to count that they were made for each other.

Pup ends up with a group of dogs in the street, and they teach him how to survive and what to look out for. But all Pup wants is to get back to his boy. The other dogs know this is unlikely, especially as they understand Pup was left on the street for a reason.

They are wise and kind dogs and Pup is lucky to have been found by them. This story isn’t quite as sweet as the Eva Ibbotson book about another dog and another boy. But you feel there must be a good ending, in some way. Except, what can an eleven-year-old boy do? Or his puppy?

I’ve learned a lot, both about dogs (I hope it’s all true), and about their humans. The story also reflects on what society today is like, what people want and what people can do. And how dogs love them anyway.

This is another heartrending story from Gill, going deeper into the relationship between humans and animals than ever before.

Each chapter is headed by a black and white drawing and I was quite captivated by the beautiful illustrations, without realising that they were by Gill herself. The cover showing Pup against a night city backdrop, is by Levi Pinfold. So there is much loveliness.

Black Dog

Levi Pinfold’s lovely book Black Dog is a more than worthy winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. It is beautifully illustrated and beautifully made, with a soft, mother-of-pearl kind of cover, that just begs to be stroked.

Levi Pinfold, Black Dog

The pictures are a little in the style of Shaun Tan, with a dash of Oliver Jeffers, and you can’t go wrong with that.

The Hope family live in the most wonderful and strange house, and at times I almost forgot the story, because I was so fascinated by what their house looked like.

One morning Mr Hope discovers a black dog outside the house. It scares him, and he over-reacts quite a bit. Then Mrs Hope sees the dog and does likewise. Each time someone in the family sees the black dog it grows, and so does their fear of it.

That’s until the very tiny Small Hope takes charge of the situation and shows her family that there is no need to hide. By the time she does so, the dog is Very Large Indeed.

The medalists

There is something special about the CILIP Carnegie and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals isn’t there? Being awarded a medal sounds so very right and proper. I often imagine past winners as walking around wearing them.

From now on Levi Pinfold can impress with some metal on his chest, and I’m really pleased for him. I have not read his wonderful looking picture book Black Dog (and why not??), but I will rectify it as speedily as is physically possible. So, no meaningless waffle from me on what I don’t know, but Black Dog certainly looks like a Kate Greenaway Medalist sort of creature.

Levi Pinfold, Black Dog

And – DRUMROLL – Sally Gardner has won the Carnegie Medal for Maggot Moon! I’m particularly happy that she receives it for what I feel is her most outstanding novel, even for someone who specialises in outstanding books. Worth the wait, and all that.

Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon

These Medals are also such decent prizes, since they actually benefit others. I hope Levi and Sally both still have a local library to which they can give their £500 worth of books.
Sally Gardner
And, in a way I don’t want to harp on about Sally’s dyslexia again, but I hope her win today will persuade those in power that they need to change how they think and act in regard to ‘hopeless’ children. I know it’s what Sally will want to talk about in her speech.

‘Sadly’ both winners will have to enjoy today’s ceremony without my ‘help’ but I should have some photos for you later…