The Bark Book By Victoria Mackinlay and Beth Harvey
Something to Bark About
Every now and then a book comes along that has me totally in awe. I’m amazed at how a picture book with so few words can tell a story with so much action, emotion and adventure. How it can tell us so much about its characters and subject with such rhythm and ease, and then hit us with an ending that wows us. I find it pure joy. It’s partly the reason I love kids books so much. They may only take a few minutes to read, but the emotion stays with you for the rest of the day. The Bark Book is one such book.
A Dog’s Life
The day starts out with a dog greeting its owner, getting excited about a walk, exploring the park, finding the perfect stick, run-ins with various critters, playing fetch, rolling in the grass and discovering nature, all before enjoying a full dinner and an evening on a hill to watch the sunset before falling into bed exhausted. What a day!
An Awesome Combination
A picture book like this only really works when both illustrator and author are in sync. The text is minimal, and word play rhythmic and enjoyable with the focus on using the word ‘bark’ in different ways. You can’t read it without smiling. Illustrations are so expressive that I can’t help fall in love with this dog. I can literally feel each emotion as each event happens.
Picture book enthusiasts, dog lovers, kids and anyone who enjoys a good story will really appreciate this book for its rhythm and rhyme, wonderful illustrations, sublime storytelling, and for the way it captures and delivers so many of life’s emotions in one wonderful book. Awesome.
Author: Victoria Mackinlay
Illustrator: Beth Harvey
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishing, 2021