The Boy, His Dog and the Sea

Anthony Browne

Any book by Anthony Browne makes me excited and his latest did not disappoint.

There are layers and depth in this story of a boys walk along the beach with his dog. 

Danny’s Mum tells him “Keep your eyes open, you never know what you may see” – that is the way to read this picture book. The illustrations are a key dimension of the narrative, bringing surprises, ideas, tiny details and tangential ideas. The mood is in the colour, light and shade as well as the proportions of the pictures.

Danny learns to look and see the unexpected and ultimately has his hero moment because of this, and Scruff the dog, who led the way.

This is so much more than the story of a walk along a beach, it’s a master class in why picture books are special and a fine example of why Anthony Browne’s books are beloved by adults and children. I’ve read it several times now and am still thinking about it…

Published by Walker Books

Reviewed by Fiona McMorrow