A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
A dog attempts suicide by jumping from a bridge.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Humans drink wine and beer, and smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that a despondent dog attempts suicide by jumping from a bridge (he doesn't succeed). Sensitive children may be disturbed by the way the dog is treated by his owners.
Is It Any Good?
This genially subversive animal story calls into question the central virtue we associate with dogs: loyalty. In most children's books of this type, Gulliver's journey would be to make his way back home, and back into the affections of his master, but ordinary messages and sentiment have never been author Tor Seidler's way. Gulliver is loyal to his professor, but this is not reciprocated, and when the professor sets him aside for his lady love all too easily, even young readers will perceive that loyalty must be earned and deserved, and can be misplaced.
The next easy route for an author would be to have Gully's new family be wonderful in their boisterous, lower-class way, thus playing up the usual message that the poor are somehow more virtuous than the rich. But in this story, they don't treat him very well either. Seidler avoids the pitfalls and keeps taking his story in surprising directions until the messages (if there are any) and the plot are as messy and unpredictable as, well, life.
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Our Editors Recommend
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