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Black Dog

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  1,257 Ratings  ·  282 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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(showing 1-30)
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Richard Denney
Jun 23, 2016 Richard Denney rated it it was amazing
Read this one to my sister and cousin as well and this one was my favorite! The illustrations were amazing and the detailing just made this so much more better. The story was so cute and funny. I will need to own this one too for sure. I was putting on his British-Harry Potter Dobby voice while reading this and my sister loved it so much she made me read the book 3 more times to her. :)
Nov 24, 2015 Vippi rated it really liked it
I was looking for a gift for a friend's 5-year-old child and I stepped into this little gem.

Black dog is a delicate, lovely story about facing fears and about friendship.
The little ones will adore it and its marvelous, evocative illustrations, while the big ones will feel their heart warming.

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 really liked it
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
Feb 02, 2014 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen A.
Nov 24, 2012 Karen A. rated it liked it
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
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
Nov 17, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
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 really liked it
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
Jun 25, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 02, 2014 Sónia Estrela rated it it was amazing
5 estrelas pelas ilustrações absolutamente perfeitas
Oct 17, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Greta tra le righe
Ho adorato ogni singola pagina di questo libro, e non mi stancherei mai di sfogliarlo.
Le illustrazioni sono qualcosa di fenomenale, ricchissime di dettagli ed estremamente suggestive, proprio come in una fiaba. Si potrebbe guardare ogni disegno per ore, perché i dettagli sono così numerosi e particolareggiati, interessanti, curiosi, simpatici che anche il più piccolo angolo della pagina racchiude una storia in sé. Le illustrazioni colorate sono bellissime, con il loro contrasto tra i colori cal
Nov 21, 2016 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-572
The Black Dog, by Levi Pinfold, is a wonderfully written and illustrated children’s mystery that would be a entertaining read aloud for kindergarten through second graders. The book tells the story of a family who wakes up one morning to find a “big” black dog outside their house. The story unfolds as each member of the family sees the dog and in turn relates its size to increasingly larger and more terrifying animals and creatures. As the rest of the family revels in their terror, the youngest, ...more
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
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
I really loved this book. At first I assumed it was about depression - Churchill's 'Black Dog' - and while it very well could be, I think even taken as a book simply about facing your fears, this one is brilliant.

The illustrations are beautiful, the characters are interesting (especially Small Hope), and the story has a humorous tone that (potentially) deals with a serious topic.

As picture books go, this one is way up there - and I'm hugely impressed.
Danica Midlil
Dec 06, 2012 Danica Midlil rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, pets, size
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?
Dec 07, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
I needed help with this odd and original work of art. Fortunately Logan was able to provide it; see their review here: I will consider more by Pinfold.
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.
Dec 05, 2012 Kelsey rated it really liked it
Shelves: k-2nd, preschool
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.
Mar 24, 2016 Sasha rated it it was amazing
Love love love love love this book, it may be my new favorite. Sometimes big things are scary and you need something brave and small to make you feel better <3
Stefani Sloma
Oct 14, 2014 Stefani Sloma rated it really liked it
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.
Susan Heskin
Sep 09, 2016 Susan Heskin rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Liz Voorheis
Sep 25, 2012 Liz Voorheis rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Beautiful illustrations; Picture book for older readers.
Tracy Clausen
Love the illustrations - this story begs to be read aloud!
Dec 09, 2014 Francesca rated it liked it
The message is nice, but I didn't like the art
Apr 08, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
Beautifully illustrated and a nice idea behind the tale.
Oct 15, 2012 Kfooshee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Best new children's book out there! The illustrations are wonderful!!!
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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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