The Ghost of Greyfriar's Bobby

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Few readers will be able to resist this walk back in time by way of Scottish lore and captivating 19th-century townscapes. While they are touring Edinburgh, a sister and brother happen upon a fountain commemorating a dog named Bobby, buried within the adjacent churchyard. The church gardener invites the siblings in to see Bobby's grave and hear his tale. Here Brown (Copycat; The Picnic) works a bit of magic: time pivots backward on a single sentence and, as the youngsters enter the churchyard, the reader is transported into a seamless story-within-a-story. Atmospheric prose and beguiling full-spread watercolors unfold Bobby's life with his master, Old Jock. So devoted is Bobby that when Old Jock dies, the dog keeps vigil by his grave for 14 years, earning the love of the townspeople and a secure place in oral history. A heartwarming tale, memorably rendered. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4Two modern-day children stop at a fountain and notice that it also accommodates dogs. An inscription reads, " A tribute to the affectionate fidelity of Greyfriar's Bobby. In 1858, this faithful dog followed the remains of his master to Greyfriar's Churchyard and lingered near the spot until his death in 1872." Entranced, the children head for the churchyard, where the gardener spins the tale of Jock and his faithful pet, who maintained his graveside vigil until he himself was buried beside his master. As the story is related, the double-page spreads shift to the past, with all of the townspeople in 19th-century dress. Brown's masterful watercolors paint an inviting picture of both the town of Edinburgh and the gorgeous Scottish countryside (the setting and city are mentioned only in the flap copy). Readers will find a shiver traveling up their own spines as the snow whips around the cattle herder and his tiny dog. Using a more ethereal palette for the city of Jock and Bobby's time, the art effectively creates the transition between the present-day teller and the long-ago tale. Children expecting a chilling ghost story may be disappointed, but they will quickly be charmed by Bobby and his stubborn loyalty. A beautiful retelling of a hard-to-find legend.Lisa S. Murphy, formerly at Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525455813
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 1.56 (d)

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