Stubby: A True Story of Friendship
Stubby: A True Story of Friendship
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Annotation: From an army training camp to the trenches in France, this is the incredible true story of Sergeant Stubby, the dog who served bravely in World War I.
Catalog Number: #176370
Format: Library Binding
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 32
Availability: Out of Print
ISBN: 1-541-55510-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-541-55510-5
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In this affecting, poignant picture book, based on actual events during WWI, a soldier relates how a stray dog that found its way into boot camp became a beloved companion. Nicknamed Stubby (for his "flat face and short legs"), the dog remains by the soldier's side throughout training, traveling overseas (Stubby snuck aboard), and enduring the trenches in France, where Stubby's keen senses also help detect approaching enemies or poison gas. But then soldier and Stubby are caught in an explosion. While Stubby is treated, they're separated, but eventually they're reunited and spend the rest of the war and years after together. Expressive, detailed color-washed illustrations depict lighthearted scenes (Stubby saluting an officer with his paw) as well as dramatic ones, such as soldiers and Stubby in gas masks. This offers an accessible, engaging approach to a high-interest topic, using descriptive first-person prose and lively, eloquent touches that effectively convey Stubby's and the soldiers' experiences, their enduring bond, and the reasons Stubby became a well-known inspiration to many. An afterword fills in more background on the hero dog.
Horn Book
During World War I, an American solider adopts a stray dog that wanders into camp. The soldier and the dog, whom he names Stubby, become inseparable and the dog quickly becomes the regiment's mascot. Though the warm tale is based on a true story, Stubby's learning to salute and his smiling, human-like visage (as portrayed in the line-and-wash illustrations) stretch reality a bit. A historical note adds context.
Kirkus Reviews
This true story of a stray dog that became a decorated war hero was first published in England to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The smell of cooking attracts many stray dogs to the soldiers' training camp, but one particular dog finds one particular soldier, and the two become inseparable. "An odd little dog with a flat face and short legs," he is dubbed Stubby. Endearingly portrayed with big eyes and a let's-play expression, Stubby goes off to Europe with his new soldier friend, the unnamed narrator of the story. Stubby marches, holes up in trenches, becomes a guard dog, wears a gas mask, and is injured on the battlefield. Stubby goes home a hero and leads the great victory parade, wagging his hero's tail in this hero's tale. Though he has created a darling of a canine protagonist, Foreman doesn't shy away from the realities of war, vividly depicting villages in ruins, bullets "zipping and whistling around," injured soldiers, and Stubby himself "covered in mud and blood, his eyes full of pain." Except for an occasional face in a cheering crowd, all characters are white. While Foreman makes the tale universal, the backmatter fills in specific details: The soldier's name was Robert Conroy, the training camp was in Connecticut, and the fighting was in France.A heartwarming tale indeed. (Picture book. 5-10)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (3/1/19)
Horn Book (8/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 1,014
Reading Level: 4.4
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 500754 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: 840L

Stubby was a brave soldier, a loyal friend . . . and a dog. From an army training camp to the trenches in France, this is the incredible true story of Sergeant Stubby, the dog who served bravely in World War I--sniffing out gas attacks, catching spies, and winning the hearts of his fellow soldiers.

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