Can a dog that smells like sardines and looks like a doormat ever find an owner to look after and love him? Find out in this comic canine caper.
Dumpster Dog – a homeless canine without a family or owner – lives rough on the streets. He’s smelly and messy and completely unkempt, although we shouldn’t hold that against him as he’s a dog down on his luck. Dumpster Dog has a friend, Flat Cat, a luckless feline that was run over and flattened. He tells Flat Cat he’s going to try and find himself an owner. His friend doesn’t like his chances.
Things don’t go according to plan. Dumpster Dog meets a potential owner, a well dressed man with a car, but the man turns out to be a rascal. Soon Dumpster Dog is on his own again, and in more trouble. He’s abducted by a group of bandits and put into a cage with a lot of other hapless animals. Their fate looks grim. Can Dumpster Dog be a hero to the other animals and escape? Can he ever find the company he craves, despite smelling like sardines and looking like an old doormat?
The first in a series of short chapter books by French writer Colas Gutman and illustrator Marc Boutavant, Dumpster Dog is an hilarious romp through the city streets of France. The story has a wonderfully comic cast of human villains and ill-fated animals. Who doesn’t like an adventure story with the requisite group of archetypal baddies, not to mention the young girl who works for them, administering tranquilizer drugs? Colas Gutman hits all the right notes with this goofy caper, balancing the cruelty of Dumpster Dog’s predicament against his sweet, innocent nature. This is a vibrantly told story full of invention and pleasant surprises. A real entertainment. Marc Boutavant’s illustrations are utterly gorgeous, little works of art in themselves, making this a very special book indeed.
Dumpster Dog is sure to win you over.
Dumpster Dog, by Colas Gutman. Illustrated by Marc Boutavant. Published by Enchanted Lion Books. RRP: $16.99
Review by Chris Saliba