Love From Alfie McPoonst, The Best Dog Ever
Dawn McNiff and Patricia Metola
This is a totally adorable book despite the sadness of its themes – coping with death and finding a way to express loss. The death is of the beloved pet dog Alfie, now in Dog Heaven.
From there, on ‘The Nicest Cloud’ to be precise, he sends little Izzy letters in the post. This location so he says is ‘BRILLIANT’ – with lots of parks, a surfeit of sticks and dog treats by the million. Moreover scaring wolves and chasing postmen are allowed; there’s a distinct lack of bullying moggies, no need for baths and Alfie can show off his special trick to a highly appreciative, exclusively canine, audience. He can even indulge his taste for cowpats.
Of course Alfie misses all the tickles and huggles from his little human but there are compensatory snuggles with his ‘dog-mum’.
When Izzy reads of the dog fluff Alfie has left behind, she collects it up and puts it into a special ‘I’ll never forget you’ locket, and writes to tell him about it too.
In this way, the little child is helped to grieve and come to terms with her loss.
The author, Dawn McNiff was a bereavement counsellor before becoming a writer and this thoughtfully created story is a real heartstrings tugger that will help young children through the grieving process.
Equally moving are Patricia Metola’s slightly quirky illustrations that show both the human world and Dog Heaven.