The Greedy Dog
Francesca di Chiara
Usborne Picture Books, 2015
pbk., 24pp., RRP $A12.99
Dog is always hungry and his thoughts are always about food. Even though he had already had a slice of steak, half a ham and a whole string of sausages, he was thinking about his dinner. In the market town it is market day and his nose leads him to the butcher’s stall where there are all sorts of delicious doggy delights – in particular, a big juicy bone that is irresistible. Carefully, he sneaks up and snatches it, hightailing it out of town before anyone can catch him.
Delighted with his daring and his success, he runs until he comes to a river and the cool water reminds him he is thirsty and needs a drink. But as he bends over the water, he sees another dog with a bone, fat and juicy and bigger than his. He is determined to have it…
This is a retelling of The Dog and his Reflection, a fable by Aesop that dates back hundreds of years. Written in an entertaining way and brought right up-to-date with lively, colourful illustrations it provides the platform for a discussion about being content with what we have as well as a springboard to other fables, their format and messages. Are stories meant to entertain us or educate us, or is there room for both? It could be the start of having even very young students start looking below the surface for the juicy bones beneath – the message that the writer is trying to help us understand.
But even without the philosophical discussion, it just a lovely story to read aloud to our youngest readers.