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Black Dog

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  1,210 Ratings  ·  275 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 of 1,968)
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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
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
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
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
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
Apr 03, 2016 Grace rated it it was amazing
Black Dog by Levi Pinfold was such an amazing picture book. In this book, the author uses a giant black dog to create a mystery within the story. The black dog successfully scares each family member of the Hope family except for the youngest child named Small Hope. In my opinion she was the bravest out of the Hope family. I think that as we grow up your imagination switches to reality and things that once were not scary anymore, become real and can be frightening. Children have such a vivid imag ...more
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
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
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
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
Beautifully illustrated and a nice idea behind the tale.
Oct 12, 2016 Alexus rated it it was amazing
Black Dog is a nice story a family that feared a big black dog, but the youngest member of the family wasn.t so afraid of the dog and teaches her family a lesson on bravery. Small hope the youngest member of the family teachers children not to be afraid and not to judge someone based on their looks. the illustrations are very detailed and drawn to look more realistic. the story takes place in the older times one can tell by the clothing the family is wearing also by the night cap dad has on his ...more
Homegrown Reader
Sep 09, 2016 Homegrown Reader rated it it was amazing
I’m a sucker for folklore. That being said, Black Dog has absolutely nothing to do with folklore, I just thought that it might. The British folk tales about black dogs are fabulously chilling. Interestingly the stories change by locale but in our area the black dog is seen as a bit more benevolent than anything else. I saw the title and the giant paw print on the first page and added the book to our list. It looked slightly creepy, which is really all I’m capable of managing, with a hint of folk ...more
May 20, 2016 Lynley rated it really liked it
The illustrations are so beautiful in this author/illustrator picture book I suspected the story wouldn't quite reach the same level. Readers will have varied responses to this, but for me, the story is structurally fine but the message problematic: Children are taught to face their fears head-on, using the metaphor of a big dog outside the house. That's fine. The problem is, I've been trying to teach my kid the opposite when it comes to dogs, as there are a lot of iffy ones in our neighbourhood ...more
Stephanie Hughes
Apr 06, 2016 Stephanie Hughes rated it really liked it
Black Dog, written by Levi Pinfold, is a lovely, suspenseful story. It teaches us that sometimes the best thing to do is face our fears head-on, which is just what Small Hope did. While the rest of the Hope family let their fear take hold and cause the situation to seem more dire than it truly was, Small remained calm and seemingly unfazed by the huge, growing black dog outside their house. Small used her cleverness to take the dog on a chase, making it squeeze into smaller and smaller areas cau ...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
Tracy Clausen
Love the illustrations - this story begs to be read aloud!
Apr 08, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
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.
Sep 27, 2014 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: 520mclit
"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
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.
Jiaran Wang
Apr 12, 2015 Jiaran Wang rated it it was amazing
It seems like the popular children's books being newly released these days appeal more to adults or feature museum quality illustrations that display well in a bookstore. I find myself drooling over the shiny covers at the bookstores too but oftentimes let down after a read through. I still find the best books just browsing through our library's collection. Little kids aren't as impressed by the perfection of illustrations as adults are, although pictures certainly matter. I think they get more ...more
This book is about more than fear or, rather, more than just about the fear(s) of the Hope family.

The tale would have been just as moving had any other family member faced their fear, but then it wouldn't teach children that everyone has fears, even their parents.

Other reviewers have said that the fear gets larger each time one of them see it, but I'm wondering if it's more that each person that sees it is smaller than the last. Things that grownups take for granted are often frightening to a sm
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
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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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