By: Katharine Kenah
Illustrated by: Nicole Wong
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: April 2014
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: April 2014
Ah, the ocean breeze felt so good against the tip of Walter’s nose! The ferry boat churned through the water leaving a wake behind and a small blue flag flapped in the breeze. There was a lot of work to be done on a ferry and as soon as the cars began to board, Walter sprang into action. Those seagulls needed to be chased away and he “posed in family pictures, and kept an eye on babies.” Captain needed that newspaper and Engineer needed to know when it was time to head out. “Come here, Walter,” exclaimed Cook, “Taste this bacon for me.” Such was the life of a ferry dog. That ferry just could not manage without Walter, like ever.
Everyone needed him except for one critter ... Captain’s cat. Cupcake “wore a collar with jewels” and “slept in a fully round bed in the Captain’s cabin.” That horrid Cupcake would practically poke him in the eye when he got close. Ouch! One terrible gray day the ferry worked its way through churning waves and everyone stayed inside. There was not a lick of work for Walter to do and he felt so unwanted. Cupcake was taking over his job and got him into trouble when she rip, rip, ripped up that newspaper. “Bad dog,” shouted Captain. If no one needed him, it looked like Walter would have to leave. Perhaps the people on the island would need him, or would they?
This is a wonderfully charming story of Walter the ferry dog that children will love. Of course Walter had a lot of work to do, but once he felt no one appreciated him, it was time to leave. Children will immediately fall in love with Walter and laugh when Cupcake swats him. Everyone wants to be appreciated, including Walter, and when things are not going their way it can be discouraging. Walter feels, as they say, that the grass is greener on the other side, and leaves thinking things will be better somewhere else. The artwork is lively, whimsical, and has great kid appeal. Walter is just one of those marvelously appealing dogs everyone will fall in love with. Cupcake? Well that’s quite another story!
Quill says: Everyone will fall in love with Walter the ferry dog, except perhaps those cats out there!