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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Dog and His Boy
I have a confession to make: before reading One Dog and His Boy I hadn't read, and didn't own, a single book by Eva Ibbotson. Her books have honestly never appealed to me, and it was only because I was sent a proof copy of this for review that I ever thought of picking it up. I'm not usually one for stories about animals (I only really like cats), so this was right out of...
Published on 26 April 2011 by Jenny, Wondrous Reads

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, pleasant, unmemorable
I read this to my 8-year-old daughter, and we both quite enjoyed it, without being riveted. The narrative never entirely caught fire, and I never had that feeling of urgency from my daughter, that willing-on of bedtime, that I've had with some other books. But, as I say, this is good book, just not a great one. I think Ibbotson will be remembered for one masterpiece...
Published on 23 April 2012 by A. J. McGowan


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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Dog and His Boy, 26 April 2011
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
I have a confession to make: before reading One Dog and His Boy I hadn't read, and didn't own, a single book by Eva Ibbotson. Her books have honestly never appealed to me, and it was only because I was sent a proof copy of this for review that I ever thought of picking it up. I'm not usually one for stories about animals (I only really like cats), so this was right out of my comfort zone. However, I'm really, really glad I read it, and I see now why Eva Ibbotson is one of Britain's most-loved children's authors. Sadly she passed away last year, and One Dog and His Boy was the last book she completed. She certainly went out in style, that's for sure.

One Dog and His Boy is such a lovely book, and is very near perfect. I can see readers of all ages falling in love with Hal and Fleck, just like I did, and it's all because of the writing and uplifting story. Basically, Hal has always wanted a dog, but his too-busy, too-house-proud parents won't ever let him have one. So they do the unthinkable: they hire Fleck for a weekend, and then return him. Hal is absolutely heartbroken, and sets off to get Fleck back from the Easy Pets dog rental business. They're accompanied by a girl called Pippa and four other dogs: Otto, Honey, Francine and Li-Chee.

What follows is a story of determination, love and the everlasting bond between one dog and his boy. Each dog has their own story, and each is resolved at the end. That was actually my favourite part of the book, and I'll admit it left me a bit choked up. I got to the end and just wanted to turn back to the beginning and read it again, just so I could stay with these characters - both human and canine - for a little longer. I even liked the two nasty hellhounds, Darth and Terminator, who try and chase our heroic group across a field. Aside from their genius names, it transpires that even they can be kind, compassionate dogs. Obviously they're not as cool as Fleck and Co., though!

Reading One Dog and His Boy gave me a new appreciation for my own dog, who I think I should probably spend more time with (Watch out, Spud!). I'm also now a fan of Eva Ibbotson, and will be hunting down more of her books very soon. I think everyone would enjoy One Dog and His Boy, along with its simple but brilliant drawings by Sharon Rentta. I'll be buying the hardcover for my collection, as I have no doubt that this is one I'll want to re-read!

4.5/5
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Book, 8 May 2011
This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
Eva Ibbotson's last novel, One Dog and His Boy, is one that perfectly fits into the 'modern classics' category. Written beautifully with her target audience in mind, this book is not just for children who wish for a dog themselves, but for any child who likes animal adventure stories.

It's the story of Hal, who has everything a boy could wish for, but no one to really love him. When his parents rent him a dog for his birthday, they think that he'll tire of having to look after it, so won't mind having to give it back. They couldn't have been more wrong! Hal and Fleck form a really strong bond which leads to a brilliant adventure (involving many more dogs).

If you are looking for something to read aloud to children of various ages, this book is perfect. If you like stories by Michael Morpurgo, Jeremy Strong and Roddy Doyle, this might be for you. I'd recommend you buy the beautifully illustrated hardback, it's one of these books to read again and again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting final work, 24 Aug 2011
By 
leftfooter "leftfooter" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
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My children and I have loved Eva Ibbotson's work ever since we came across the sublime "Journey to the River Sea" many years ago. We especially love her more 'serious' lyrical works, although the comedic novels are also a joy.

Eva was clearly an author who was determined not to get stuck in a rut, and was always prepared to take on new challenges and new styles.

Even here, in what is (sadly) the last book before she died, she takes a new direction. I wouldn't quite call it "Eva Ibbotson meets Jacqueline Wilson", but there is something of that about it. Thankfully, she steers clear of the more direct manipulation of the reader which often characterises Jacqueline Wilson, but still manages to produce a book that more directly engages with one's emotions than her previous works.

In some ways, the book follows some very standard paths, with classic "wish fulfilment" elements which you will find in everything from Roald Dahl to Harry Potter. But there are also enough unexpected twists and turns to keep the story unpredictable and engaging to the end.

And, as always, the book is beautifully written, as befits an author who loved the joy of language and the craft of storytelling to the very end.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One fantastic dog and his boy!, 7 Jun 2011
By 
TheRedBlueBlur (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
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Looking for a good children's book can feel like panning for gold sometimes. So many books, so little quality. THIS book though is a nugget of pure gold!

Suitable for nearly any age - I liked it and I'm 42 - this is a fantastic little book.
It tells the story of.. actually if I told you that, why would you need to read it and if you want a good children's book, then you'll want to read it.

Without giving the plot away, this is story of a boy, a dog, friendship, adventure, love and evaluating what's truly important in life. There are heart warming, touching moments, funny moments and even a peppering of quality baddies!

Read to your kids, let your kids read it, read it to a primary school class or just read it for yourself and pretend you're evaluating it for someone else's child, but give it a read. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, pleasant, unmemorable, 23 April 2012
By 
A. J. McGowan (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Paperback)
I read this to my 8-year-old daughter, and we both quite enjoyed it, without being riveted. The narrative never entirely caught fire, and I never had that feeling of urgency from my daughter, that willing-on of bedtime, that I've had with some other books. But, as I say, this is good book, just not a great one. I think Ibbotson will be remembered for one masterpiece (Journey to the River Sea), backed up by a solid body of work, into which this book fits nicely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story for Children, 11 July 2011
By 
R. Patel "Bush4ever" (Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
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Overall, the book is fabulous. It encapsulates the wonders of wanting to own a dog very well. Children will enjoy this story thoroughly. I read the story to my youngsters and they loved it. To be honest they want me to read it all the time.
Thoroughly reccommend this story to anyone, not just for animal lovers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I ever wanted was a dog, 27 May 2011
By 
rachelcreative (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
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I was a child who begged to have a dog for years just like Hal. When Hal finally gets his dog Fleck, only to find his parents have just rented thew terrier for a weekend, both boy and dog are sick with sadness on being separated. The bond between them is strong and I think if you've had a dog, or you've ever wanted a dog, you'll understand how much they want to be together.

This is a sweet story for children that trots along nicely with adventure, a host of characters along the way (like the detective, circus people, the abbott, the shepherd), parents who get it wrong, an awkward kid finding courage, friendship and knowing how money doesn't buy happiness - with lots of lovely doggy characters to get to know.

A great book to read aloud and share with a child but equally good for them to escape into for themselves (I believe it's recommended for 8+). Written in a way to appeal to both boys and girls.

Having recently discovered her books I was sad to discover that Eva Ibbotson died as the first proofs of this book were about to be printed. But what a lovely last book it is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 18 May 2011
By 
Sunglasses - See all my reviews
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This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
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My daughter loves dogs but unfortunately we cannot have one due to a severe allergy in the family. She feels just like Hal and could really empathise with the tale, which is so well written in terms of the emotional bond between owners and their pets + with some really nice illustrations at the start of each chapter. One Dog and his Boy is very well written - it really hooked my daughter from start to finish; this is so much better that Eva Ibbotson's last disappointing effort. You could tell that the Author enjoyed writing this book and the experience for the reader is so much better as a result.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eva Ibbotson's last book...., 9 May 2011
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This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
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This is just the kind of children's book that makes reading worthwhile. A real adventure, involving runaways, circuses, and some grownups who are not as likeable as they should be. Hal is a little boy with rich parents. His father is always away on business, and his mother is too too clean and hygenic, and loves shopping. For both of them there is really little room in their lives for their son. Everything is OK as long as he doesn't make the house untidy, and appreciates all the money they spend on presents for him. But he only wants one thing - a dog. And eventually, to keep him quiet, his parents rent a "Tottenham Terrier" for the weekend presuming that, like all children, he will soon tire of the dog. But of course, Hal and Fleck are made for each other, and when he has to go back to the rental shop, they are both distraught. By a fluke, fate arranges a breakout at the shop and the adventure begins!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I ever wanted was a dog, 9 Jun 2011
By 
C. Colley (Lincs) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Dog and His Boy (Hardcover)
After seeing all the glowing reviews about One Dog and his Boy, I couldn't resist choosing this book from the shelf, when I last popped to the library.
Hal Fenton is desperate for a dog and was desperately disappointed to not receive one for his birthday. Mr Fenton's idea of hiring a dog for the weekend, thinking that Hal will be tired of it by the end of it, doesn't quite work out, especially when Hal discovers the nasty trick his parents have played on him.
Hal decides to take matter in to his own hands and an exciting doggy adventure takes place.
The special bond between Hal and Fleck, the dog, is captured just perfect in this book, and Hal's determination to keep that bond, teaches his parents a lesson or two.
This is such a lovely book and made for sharing. The dog illustrations by Sharon Rentta add wonderful vivid detail throughout the story. I like the fact that the illustrations are so good, that any unused drawings were too good to leave out and are enclosed at the back of the book. This is a wonderful read from start to finish.
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One Dog and His Boy
One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson (Paperback - 1 Mar 2012)
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