The Dog That Ate The World is a beautiful and alluring picture book with a somewhat unusual story about a dog with such an appetite that it gradually consumes everything in the world.
The story starts in a valley where different animals dwell, living peaceful but separated lives. Birds play with other birds, foxes perform music for each other and bears frolic together among the river’s shallow waters.
When a dog appears things begin to change. The dog is hungry and takes what he pleases to eat and drink. One by one he swallows up the different animals and their habitats. The dog grows in size as he works his way through several species and also the trees, mountains and eventually even the sun.
Inside the dog’s cavernous belly, the animals refuse to let hopelessness prevail. They begin to work as a community to make the most of their new environment, happily playing together like never before and safe from the destructive threat of the greedy dog.
The story has the feel of a folk story or fairy tale, requesting that the reader quickly suspend their disbelief and instead engage with the underlying concepts of community and optimism in the face of adversity. In the midst of a crisis that could seem so bleak, hope never dies and what emerges at the end is a brighter and stronger community than ever before. We all need books like this that champion the spirit of hopefulness and positivity in the face of the darkest times.
What makes this book so triumphant is the stunning illustrations that give a real celebratory feel to the story. The patterns and textures of the natural scenes add to the playfulness and joy that defines the community of animals and you can almost hear the music coming out of the pages. With deeply vibrant hues and cheerful patterns filling the community scenes, the theme of light overcoming darkness is beautifully portrayed as even the gloominess of the disturbing black dog is barely noticeable by comparison.
This is a beautiful picture book with an interesting story and a powerful theme of community and optimism in changing times.