Darrel Odgers and Sally Odgers (text) Janine Dawson (illus) Outback Rescue (Pup Patrol #4), Scholastic Australia, 1 August 2105, 89pp., $9.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781743623022
This is a happy book. More than that, it portrays realistic dog characteristics and informs about sensible dog ownership for families with children. A glossary of “dog language” as well as information about animals and the outback, makes learning effortless and entertaining.
With a predictable yet enjoyable plot, the adventure takes pragmatic James and his two dogs, Border Collie Stamp and Ace, a mixed breed, into the flood-bound outback. Of course they will enjoy camping with the local indigenous community, mixing with the camp dogs and cleverly find two missing German tourists with the mere shake of a tail.
Embedded in the story is an inherent message about differences in human personalities, dog breeds, people from other cultures and the tolerance and understanding required for coexistence.
Filled with good humour, lightened with line drawings and informative titbits about animals, Australia and other cultures, this story will engage readers and have them actively seeking others in the series.
Reviewed by Julie Thorndyke