The Tale of Rescue

illus. by Stan Fellows. 112p. ebook available. Candlewick. 2015. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763671679.
Gr 4–7—A Florida family of three—mother, father, and 10-year-old son—go on vacation to introduce the boy to a true Appalachian winter. An early morning hike through the snowy landscape turns dangerous as a sudden blizzard descends. Now trapped in a whiteout with almost no visibility, the snow too deep to walk through, the wind beating them back, they realize that their only chance is for the father's piercing whistle to be heard. Meanwhile, at a nearby farm, an Australian cattle dog hears the whistle and races toward it. Finding the family covered with ice in the freezing rain, she returns to the farm, rounds up her herd of cows, and guides them on a trek to clear a path to the stranded family. Beautifully lyrical language ("The snow spackled the evergreens' boughs…. The ground glistened like finely grated diamonds."), narrative tension, and accurate portrayal of animal behavior mark this gem of a novella. Avoiding anthropomorphism, Rosen has created a canine hero who uses her instincts and skill to save the day. An epilogue has the boy revisiting the farm years later for a sense of closure. Exquisite full-page watercolor illustrations throughout combine with an omniscient narrative voice for an appealing package.
VERDICT An excellent selection for fans of survival literature and realistic animal adventure.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.