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Herbert: The True Story of a Brave Sea Dog

by Robyn Belton

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010
32 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4741-4

Ages 5 - 8

Herbert, a border terrier, was one of the passengers aboard a small boat traveling from Nelson, New Zealand, to a coastal town where the Snadden family had a cottage. Tim, the young son in the family, traveled by car with his mother. When the little boat hit severe stormy weather half-way through the journey, Herbert was washed overboard, but the men onboard, including Tim’s father, were too busy handling the boat to notice until it was too late to turn back. Everyone assumed the worst except for Tim, who was certain his beloved dog was still out there. To appease him, his father hired a fishing boat the next morning and Tim and his dad retraced the journey. Optimistic Tim refused to give up and—miraculously—they found Herbert. He had been swimming for thirty hours. Remarkable as this story sounds, it did, in fact, happen and the endpapers of this picture book are a collage of news clippings, photos, letters, and an award for courage citing “dogged swimming against adversity,” all documenting the historic event from 1984. Robyn Belton’s watercolor and pencil illustrations capture the drama inherent in the story of an intrepid dog and his faithful owner.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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