Reviews /

The Dog That Saved The World (Cup)

Authored by Phil Earle
Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Published by Barrington Stoke

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The Dog That Saved The World (Cup) by Phil Earle is a title in Barrington Stoke’s dyslexia friendly list.

Animal stories are always very popular. Team anials up with football and you are onto a winner (excuse the pun)

This short fun packed story follows the lives of Pickles the dog and his family of Elsie and her Dad. Elsie and Pickles are football mad. The family has fallen on hard times and Dad is trying hard to hold things together and protect Elsie from the truth. Football is the one thing they can still afford to do together. An amazing opportunity to take part in the final of the World Cup at Wembley is won by the Saints team with the help of Pickles. All of this is thwarted by Dad losing his job, having to move house and a serious theft.

Based on two real stories (explained at the end of the book) the themes of the book show real empathy for a situation we are seeing on our news channels daily, poverty, hunger, fear of homelessness and trying to do the best for the family. Add to that the positive effects of sport, in this case, football. There is no self-pitying here, just a genuine situation realistically portrayed through in this case a ‘dogs’ eyes but reflecting a child’s view. The story is both uplifting and fun.

I think to convey such empathy in so few words is something Barrington Stoke and its authors excel at and this title does not disappoint in any way. This book would be an asset to infant/junior schools and as a class novel. It lends itself to group reading for readers needing to develop fluency as the language is straightforward and accessible.