Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Newf

Newf by Marie Killilea
Illustrated by Ian Schoenherr

This is the story of a north country legend about a mysterious big black dog who comes in from the sea. An unlikely friendship forms between this big black dog and a snow white little kitten. When Newf washes up on the shore next to an old abandoned house, he meets this kitten. He goes swimming everyday and the kitten comes to watch. The kitten gets swept away in the water but he comes to the kitten's rescue! They spend all their time together. Newf goes swimming one day when it's snowing and the kitten gets lost in the snow. Newf can't find him anywhere! He searches everywhere looking for the white kitten in the white snow. When he finally finds him, Newf carries him back to their empty cottage to warm up.

This is another book that Andy suggested I read and review. We're in Maine right now and he searched through his old bedroom to find children's books for my classroom (one day!) and he told me he loved this book as a child! It's a very cute story. Animals that get hurt or lost or scared always make me sad, but I'm glad this ended on a happy note!

I liked how the story started out and ended the same.
There was a time, long, long ago, when the cottage stood sturdy and strong on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It was a fisherman's cottage. (First page)
There was a cottage that stood sturdy and strong on a bluff overlooking the sea. It was a fisherman's cottage, but it was no longer deserted. (Last page)
I always think that animals have their families and friends, even though they are animals. They all have compassion and it's so cute that the dog and kitten became family and lived together in the cottage.

The illustrations by Ian Schoenherr are beautifully done. All of the pages are two page full bleed spreads. Many of the images are dark and shades of blue and black. The only bright color is the sand at the beach. If you look at his website (linked with his name above) you can see that just from the covers of the books, the earlier books seem to have very similar illustration styles.

I don't know if I've ever seen a Newfoundland dog in person before, so I did a little research on them. Check out the American Kennel Club's website for more information on these huge dogs! Here it says that a full grown male can weigh up to 175 lbs!!! Whoa! That is a big dog. They also can be up to 30 inches tall. I found the picture to the right for a size comparison of Newfoundland dogs to its owner and her car. That's a big dog! My dad and stepmother are part of Virginia German Shepherd Rescue and I thought those dogs were big, but these Newfoundland dogs look huge! (I used to be on the VGSR website under Past Events, no big deal!) According to Wikipedia, the largest Newfoundland dog on record was over 260 lbs and over 6 ft. long from nose to tail... Ridiculous. I can't even imagine! World's Largest Dogs is an amazing website with pictures of these huge dogs. Definitely check that out.

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