The story of Greyfriars Bobby, Scotland’s favourite Skye terrier, is widely told and loved, so we were looking forward to discovering how Michelle Sloan and Elena Bia’s picture book would introduce it to a new generation of readers – we weren’t disappointed.
Bobby’s statue is one of Edinburgh’s most visited attractions, honouring his loyalty to his master, Constable John Gray, whose grave the dog lay beside daily for fourteen years. While A Puppy’s Tale incorporates these facts, its happier focus is on Bobby’s early adventures and relationships, especially with Sandy, a boy whose life on the streets changes after wee Bobby helps him to prevent a crime.
Both the words and pictures of this book bring 19th century Edinburgh and its landmarks vividly to life. It is an affectionate portrait of a much-loved character and would be a perfect gift for fans of Scotland’s capital, but it is also a hopeful story about friendship that will appeal to readers of all ages – whether they have travelled to Greyfriars Kirkyard to lay sticks on Bobby’s grave, or not.
Greyfriars Bobby: A Puppy’s Tale, by Michelle Sloan, illustrated by Elena Bia (Picture Kelpies)
– Because we received a review copy of this book, we have made a donation to Mary’s Meals, so a hungry child will receive a meal a day in school for six months. Read here to find out how this works.