Home » Book Review » The Starlight Barking

The Starlight Barking

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by Dodie Smith

Published 1967

So, as I mentioned in my review of The One Hundred and One Dalmatiansthat book has been a favorite of mine for many years.  However, I was SO surprised to find out only a couple of months ago that Smith write a sequel ten years after publishing the original.  I ordered it off of Amazon immediately, especially when I learned that the sequel, despite it’s suspect cover, was, in fact, illustrated by the same duo (Janet and Anne Grahame-Johnstone) as the first book.

I really enjoyed this little book, but I  must say–it was odd.  The first book, despite the talking dogs and all that, still somehow seemed plausible.  (Because I grew up pretending animals could talk??  Maybe…)  But this book–well, it begins with Pongo, Missis, Prince, and Perdita waking up one morning several years after the end of the first book.  However, although the dogs are awake, no one else is.  As the morning progresses, they realize that only dogs are awake everywhere.  All humans and all other animals are fast asleep.

So, right away this book takes on more of an other-worldly feel.  I guess the first book was completely devoid of any kind of magic or anything like that, so it was a bit of a surprise to come across and enchanted sleep right out of the box on the second book.  Long story condensed, Pongo and Missis and many other dogs, end up traveling to London to meet up with Cadpig, who has become the Prime Minister’s dog, to try and figure out what is going on.

I really enjoyed this story a lot, and there were actually some very good thoughts in it, but it somehow gave me the weirds, too, and I can’t exactly explain why.  Still, the illustrations were perfect, it was lots of fun to see what happened with all of my beloved characters, and the story was still sweet (even though a little bizarre), so a high 3/5, almost a 4.

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