________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 18 . . . .May 12, 2006


Sea Dog. (Orca Echoes).

Dayle Campbell Gaetz. Illustrated by Amy Meissner.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2006.
62 pp., paper, $6.95.
ISBN 1-55143-406-7.

Subject Headings:
Dogs-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



“Look at that!” Mom said.

Kyle looked down the beach, near the water’s edge. He saw a huge clump of tangled seaweed.

“I’ll bet there’s a treasure under there,” Mom said. They lifted away handfuls of seaweed. They moved chunks of driftwood. Underneath was a huge, flat driftwood board. On it lay something black. And wet. And hairy. It was tangled in seaweed.


Kyle, age seven, and his family used to eat pancakes for breakfast and watch the waves crash on the beach when there was a storm. However, Kyle’s dad, the pancake-maker, now lives away from them, and he only sees him once a week. This thought gives Kyle and his mom watery eyes.

     Kyle and his mom go out searching for treasure along the shore just like Kyle and his dad used to do. Along the shore they find the usual; eelgrass, a dead jellyfish... and a wet, cold dog!? With the help of the vet, Kyle and his mom help Treasure, the dog, get better. Then one day in spring, they meet Bill, the original owner of the dog. Treasure’s real name is Otter.

     As Bill tells Kyle and his mom about Otter, the sea dog, children will see how the dog helped both Bill and Kyle deal with their feelings of loneliness. Kyle misses his dad, and Bill misses his daughter. The dog also brings much needed happiness and excitement into both lives. Otter is good company for when Cap’n Bill sails Lady Tia and for when Kyle comes home from school.

     Although Kyle and Bill are both upset about losing their dog to the other, they come to a decision that makes them both happy. But I bet Treasure is the happiest of them all!

     The love everyone has for the dog is clearly depicted in the penciled illustrations. The illustrations bring the water scenes to life. The storm picture and the shore drawings will be very realistic for children. And the pictures you want to see after reading the text— such as when Otter is in a life jacket or the reunion between Bill and the dog—are all there.

      Sea Dog will be an enjoyable read for children who love animal stories; especially animal stories mixed with a little maritime feel.


Tanya Boudreau is a Youth Services Librarian and Resource Librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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