From School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-Anne Harvey is a young girl "born to the sea." Living in Newfoundland, she experiences firsthand not only the beauty, but also the harshness of the Atlantic coast. Fierce storms and shipwrecks plague the rugged waters around Isle aux Morts-Island of the Dead. When Anne hears a distress signal early one morning in July 1832, she, her father, her brother, and their dog bravely set off in their small dory to help the doomed passengers. The dog, Hairy Man, heroically swims to the sinking ship and returns to the Harveys with a rope that enables them to rescue 163 passengers. Butler's accomplished oil paintings are dark and brooding. The whiteness of the battled ship reinforces its "ghostly shape." Based on the true story of the wreck of the Despatch, the narrative is enriched with dramatic details: "Waves broke under the boat, nearly capsizing it. At times they curled over the bow, sending showers of sea spray down upon them." An author's note describes some of the special jobs Newfoundland dogs have been trained to do-from laying telephone lines to transporting ammunition. An exciting historical adventure in picture-book format.
Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4-8. With dramatic, beautiful oil paintings, this picture book tells an exciting true ocean rescue story through the eyes of a young girl. In a raging storm in 1832, a ship, the Despatch
, was wrecked near an island off the coast of Newfoundland. Anne Harvey tells how she rows out with her father, her small brother, and her Newfoundland dog, Hairy Man, to save the passengers. The most intense moment is when Anne hugs her dog, and tells him, "Go, Hairy Man! Go b'y." The dog swims through the raging waves to the battered ship, the crew ties a rope round his middle, and he swims back. When he reaches his master's boat, Anne's father fastens the rope to a pole on shore, and all 163 passengers and crew are rescued; a double-page painting shows the action. The full-page paintings in impressionist style capture the wildness of the ocean, the terror of the passengers, the courage of the human rescuers, and their bond with the amazing dog. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved