He didn’t start long – he grew until he was Long Dog. Maybe he was too long – Mum and Dad think so while all James’ friends think him odd and not a proper dog. But when a crisis ocurs, it is Long Dog who can solve the problem.He is a hero – but for James he always was.
Neatly tackling concepts of friendship and difference for the youngest reader, James Davies’ picture book is a joyous romp that combines imagination and reality. The words are direct and immediate as James speaks to the reader, the font itself emphasises this effect.The illustrations, deceptively simple and child-like, complement the text, adding the details that bring much life and an engaging humour to the story. The choice of format – landscape – ensures that Davies is able to exploit the full potential of each spread allowing Long Dog to stretch not just across the pages but to spill over to the next page, while the climax involves the added dimension of a page that unfolds so that the eye follows Long Dog under the earth. Davies’ uncluttered lines bring the energy of the comic book to his storytelling and his limited palette, influenced by retro picture books, exploits the drama of the white background. From the design of the covers, both outside and in, to the story itself, this attractive picture book is a real pleasure and will surely delight both adults and children. This is one to share and we must look forward to more from this author/illustrator.