Soft cover (Picture book)
Age range 5 +
Beth is a young girl whose mother has recently died (evident only in the illustrations of photographs of her mother and a wreath hanging on the front door.) Since her mother died, Beth has been sad and depressed and will not talk. Beth’s father buys a puppy, thinking it will help, but from the time he brings Patches home, Beth seems disinterested. Sometimes she appears to be watching him, but her life is full of shadows, the memories of her mum and how life used to be, so she withdraws from life. The story begins in summer when Patches is very small, and passes through the seasons. Patches is full of energy and because the father spends much time playing with him (to try and urge Beth’s interest) Patches is a happy, full of beans young and then older puppy. The text is full of movement (movement of the growing puppy) contrasting Beth’s stillness, but when Patches becomes ill (bitten by a snake) – Beth immediately comes alive and steps from her silent world.
Corrine Fenton is an award-winning Australian author of much loved and memorable picture books for children.
Hannah Sommerville is an emerging Australian illustrator who paints whimsical, expressive pieces.
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