It’s Lula’s sixth birthday today and her present is a horse – all she has wished for. The day, leading up to the delivery of the horse, is described through the voice and eyes of Russ, the farm sheepdog and Lula’s best friend. Russ is hardworking and down-to-earth; we see him herding the sheep and cows and describing life on a farm. When the horse arrives Russ is justifiably piqued at Lula’s seeming preference for the new animal and he helps himself to her birthday cake. But all is well; Lula reassures him that she loves her horse, but she loves him even more.
The landscape format and creamy pages splendidly encapsulate Morpurgo’s words as he gives voice to Russ. Benson’s visual interpretation with soft palette, vignettes and double page spreads, shows the dog busy at work, enjoying being with his family in their farm house and roaming the land around the farm. This delightful evocation of rural life – modern yet timeless – is sure to appeal to adults as much as to children.