Rosen, Michael J. The Tale of Rescue
October 13th 2015 by Candlewick Press
E ARC from Netgalley.com
A mother, father and their son travel from Florida for a vacation in the Appalachians in Ohio. They get caught out in a very bad snowstorm, and it doesn't look like they will survive until a cattle dog finds them and, after much travail, manages to herd them to a farmhouse where they are helped by the old man who lives there. They are so relieved to be rescued that they don't ask a lot of questions, but the boy returns to the farm years later in search of answers.
Strengths: This was very beautifully illustrated, and had an old-fashioned appeal to it. It seems like just the thing that my daughter's third grade teacher would have loved to read to her class.
Weaknesses: Because the characters weren't given names, there was an oddly disconnected feel to this, which diluted the story of survival for me. The portion of the book when the boy came back seemed unlikely.
What I really think: As a survival story, this was not as exciting as it could be. The appeal lies in the story of the dog trying to help the humans, and I can see elementary teachers using this short book to illustrate the different types of conflicts in literature. It doesn't seem exciting enough for my middle school readers, so I will pass. It is similar to Avi's new Old Dog in some respects.