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Black Dog

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  838 ratings  ·  216 reviews
An enormous black dog and a very tiny little girl star in this offbeat tale about confronting one’s fears.

When a huge black dog appears outside the Hope family home, each member of the household sees it and hides. Only Small, the youngest Hope, has the courage to face the black dog, who might not be as frightening as everyone else thinks.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Templar (first published November 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,310)
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Lisa Vegan
What shone here for me were the unique and lush illustrations, both the large and colorful ones and the miniature gray tone ones. I love their intricacies and their style. Just lovely and fun to view. The pictures make the book, and they’re worth the read.

The story and its message about fear and lack thereof/facing fear is okay. Actually, I’d recommend this mostly to dog lovers, many of all ages who might find this book humorous, although I suppose it could make for a good read or gift for anyon
Jul 18, 2013 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: K-3rd
Wonderful story about how fear can cause something to grow out of proportion and about confronting fears. The name of the heroine, Small Hope, is a little obvious but works nonetheless.

So much to explore, so many details, in the illustrations from the small panels on each of the two-page spreads to the large color illustration (except for when Small first meets the Black Dog, which of course needs to dominate the two pages). Warm colors for the interiors help convey the coziness and safety of th
I see a lot of reviews regarding facing one's fears, and I definitely see that in the book. But there is a story in the dog that is happening concurrent with Small's fearless actions.

I see the dog as the pursuit of love, of family, of belonging. He was, after all, a stray that happened by. The first thing he did when he saw Small was he put his big face right down in front of her and snuffed at the little girl. For those of us that are dog lovers, we know a good snuff communicates a lot. When m
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
An odd story about how fear magnifies what it is you fear. Each family member in this tale looks outside and sees a black dog that gets bigger and bigger as their fear of it increases. Only one little girl isn't afraid to confront it. What happens to her? Read and find out!

I loved the detailed illustrations here. A little green toy octopus, assorted cats, little figurines also looking scared, and carved toy owls are a few of the objects strewn about and peeking around corners. The house has a co
Karen A.
Four stars for the illustrations. Which are a fantastic mix of Grimm, Bosch, and American Gothic. They really set the mood and make the fear of the big black dog seem very real. Only three stars for the story. It is also fun and I like that Small is the one to go out and face the big dog. But her little song and the subsequent shrinking of the dog did not quite make sense. Being a silly story juxataposed against such beautifully atmospheric illustrations may be the point - but it felt like the a ...more
1. I confess to a great deal of sentimentality here: my two beloved 100+ pound black dogs are no longer with me, but when they were still alive, they definitely frightened people. In reality, they were HUGE teddy bears who liked nothing better than to sit on your lap and cuddle.

2. The illustrations are amazing in this book: details, rich colors, perspective--it's all here. Every time I read it, I notice something new.

3. The approach: I love that the parents are part of the group that's afraid o
Sónia Estrela
5 estrelas pelas ilustrações absolutamente perfeitas
In a word: classic.

WONDERFUL children's book. This would be a joy to read aloud. The family's dialogue has a comforting feel to it, with just enough repetition so kids can get familiar or help in the storytelling. There are even a few rhymes that could be put to a tune, if you chose to do so.

The look of this book was absolutely enchanting. With its frosty cover and thick pages, it could be a cherished favorite in anyone's home, to be experienced time after time. Color is used in a soft, subtle w
Jan 16, 2015 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an odd, but entertaining story about a family who perceives a dog to be bigger and bigger until the smallest child finally goes out to meet him. It is a wonderful tale about confronting fears and how some things can appear to be more terrible than they really are.

The narrative is fairly short, filled with dialogue and rhyming little couplets. But the highlight of the book are the wonderful illustrations. Most of the two-page spreads have a full page of color illustrations, paired with s
When the Hope family woke up one morning there was a great big black dog outside. Mr. Hope thought it was the size of a tiger and called the police who advised him to just stay inside. Mrs. Hope compared it to an elephant and the family shut the lights off so it wouldn’t know they were there. Adeline woke up and saw a black dog the size of a T-Rex outside the window. She closed the curtains. Maurice woke up and thought it was the size of a Big Jeffy, deciding to stay under the covers. But the li ...more
When this family wakes up one morning, they are frightened by large black dog outside their home. The appears to them to be bigger than their house. Too terrified to assess or deal with the dog situation, the family cowers inside until the youngest child gets up and tackles the problem head on. The black dog follows her as she runs around the house and through the woods, gradually decreasing in size (as her own fear decreases?). By the time they come back home again, the dog is regular-dog-size ...more
Lindsay Rains
Oct 05, 2014 Lindsay Rains added it
Shelves: libs-642
Pinfold, L. (2011). Black Dog. Massachusetts: Templar.

The Kate Greenaway Medal (2013)


This picture book is about a family who sees a big black dog outside of their house. Most of the family members are afraid of the dog, but the smallest family member, Small Hope, was not. Small Hope ends up on a journey with the dog and leads him into the house, where her family realizes that the dog isn’t so scary after all. There are a lot of wording in this book and the font is average size. The illustr
"Black Dog" is a detailed, fascinating picture book. It won the ALA Notable Books for Children award in 2013, it was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book in 2013, and it won the Kate Greenaway Medal also in 2013. This story tells a tale of a brave little girl that takes on the ferocious, huge dog that is lurking outside of her family's home. She leads the massive black dog through small spaces until the dog that everyone else in her family fear shrunk down to her size. Through marvelous illustrat ...more
Stefani Sloma
Amazing and super detailed illustrations - I had a lot of fun looking at all the small details in each picture. The story was very cute, too, but the illustrations are what make this one.
I get that the main theme is "fear", but other then that the book left me confused and wanting more. As I finished the book, I wondered what is the purpose of this book. Is it to humor me? Is it to teach me something? Is it to let me reflect on my own experience/values?

If I were to draw up some "lesson" from the book, I would think it's either about: 1)fear looks and feels larger (thus more horrifying) before we deal with it, but it will be easier (hence smaller) once you muster up the courage t
(this review originally appeared on my blog )

The Hope family gets up one morning to discover a stray, black dog outside their home. As each member of the family sees it, his size grows larger and larger, through their own fear and lively imagination. They cower fearfully from the massive beast, only the smallest of all, Small Hope, dares to go outside to see it up close. "You're all sillies," she proclaims. The dog is indeed very, very large, but Small leads it
The message is nice, but I didn't like the art
Lovely story about a couple of different things. One is about seeing the world through fear. A stray dog comes to a house and each family member who sees it thinks it's bigger and bigger, until they are barricading themselves behind the furniture, trying to make sure the apparently T-Rex size dog doesn't know they're home. The other is about the power of love and acceptance to overcome fear. But really, for us, the story was about the sweet collection we can have with animals, especially animals ...more
Age: Preschool-Kindergarten

An excellent book on fears and their ability to get more and more frightening if you don't face them head on. An extra star for the semi-graphic novel features of this book with smaller vignettes before the full page picture.
Paul Farbman
Feb 03, 2014 Paul Farbman rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book
Recommended to Paul by: Terry Benton
There are several positive and negative points in this book. The story involves a family's reaction to a big black dog who shows up outside of their house.

The parents and older siblings react to the dog in unrealistic ways, such as calling the police, hiding under the covers, and turning out the lights so that the dog won't know that they're home. The youngest child decides to go outside and play with the big dog.

One confusing aspect of the book was how the dog shrunk down to normal size by the
Danica Midlil
Pretty cute. Love the picture of mom in her onesie jammies!
Did you notice: the knitting needles and yarn? the one lime green octopus found on many pages inside the house? The Totorro figurine? the illustration of Big Jeffy?
Interesting premise! Is the dog REALLY that big? If it is, how did Small know what to do?

I thought of Shaun Tan when I saw these illustrations...Lots to look at, with some very fanciful details.
Susan Heskin
Dec 12, 2013 Susan Heskin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susan by: Kelly Braun
The 2nd graders LOVED this book. We had a fun time afterward wondering if the dog became a pet, and what they would name the dog.
Small Hope, the youngest and smallest character in this story, has the most courage in her family. While all of her family members hide, she goes outside to visit the mysterious, black dog. Pinfold's message in this story is to not let our fears get the best of us; often something we perceive to be fearful has been largely blown out of proportion. The illustrations are fantastic and make this story. You'll spend time studying the incredible details and if you're sharing it with children, they'll ...more
Best new children's book out there! The illustrations are wonderful!!!
Kind of similar to There's No Such Thing as a Dragon. The format of the illustrations makes this a great lap-read and read-alone. But I think the story would be fun to try on storytime. I could point out what's happening in the smaller pictures. And they would like seeing the smallest child be the one to take care of the problem. And the chase is rather fun. The poetic comment made me laugh a lot, which the adults would enjoy. Must try. And it works well for winter, but I couldn't help also gett ...more
I like this story, but I'm actually a little confused (and I just saw the Babadook last night!), so was the dog really giant or was it everyone's imagination?

I don't know, but I like Small's unafraid attitude towards life as opposed to his family's immediate terror of the unknown. Imagine how many tea mugs Mrs. Hope must drop a year looking out the window of a house in the woods!
This is a somewhat longer tale, so I would save it for older elementary kids and family storytimes where parents can f
Liz Voorheis
Beautiful illustrations; Picture book for older readers.
This book won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2013, awarded for distinguished illustration in a book for children. Having now read the book I can completely understand how it won, the illustrations are absolutely stunning. Every double page spread contains one large colour illustration and a number of small sepia toned illustrations. There is a real beauty and slightly unusual quality to the illustrations, they brought to mind the work of Shaun Tan – an illustrator whose work I adore.

The story is ab
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Levi Pinfold was born in the Forest of Dean. From a young age he loved books and comics and spent many of his days drawing and writing his own stories.

At the age of seven, Levi went to watercolour classes where he was introduced to the medium that he still works in. His love of stories, painting and the work of illustrators such as Maurice Sendak, Alan Lee and Dave McKean led him to study Illustra
More about Levi Pinfold...
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