Don Freeman ~ The Viking Press, 1963
As we live in one of the hottest states in America, I am always on the look out for snow-themed books... and I love finding an undiscovered-by-me and out-of-print title by an otherwise famous author. (I also found a new shop the other day on a friend's tip... a bit pricey... the folks obviously have Google and do some wicked pricing, but the books that are damaged can be picked up for a few bucks.... so say hello to my $2 copy of Ski Pup ~ with the slightly broken spine, of course!) Don Freeman, in particular, is someone who seems to have a neverending back list. One of my first real library sale scores was the incredible Space Witch, a way, way back memory for you kids who have been with me since the beginning as it was only my second post.
Anyway, meet Hugo, a young Saint Bernard who lives on a snow-covered mountainside in the Swiss Alps. His master, Herr Kasser, works diligently to trade him as the best ski-rescue pup around, and makes sure the barrel around his neck is stocked with fresh hot chocolate. (I always thought those barrels held something a little stronger, like whiskey or scotch... but maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part... and considering it is a child that downs the stuff in the end, I imagine the stuff was given a G rating rather than it's usual double XX, but I'm rambling again.)
So, you can imagine Hugo's excitement when his first real rescue arrives.
Hugo was all set to run to his rescue, but the boy managed to untwist his skis and pull himself up. Then, to Hugo's great surprise, instead of racing after the ski class, the boy came gliding across the slope to greet him. Hugo began to bark. He was trying to say, "Go back! Go back!"
Needless to say, the boy is lost from the pack and both of them end up in a wee bit of trouble... thus the eventual downing of the hot cocoa... but you'll have to find out for yourself what happens. Don Freeman's drawing style is so recognizable, each book is different, yet they are all connected by his unique vision and eye for life. He's someone you grow to love more and more with each treasure you discover... we are quite enjoying getting to know him.
Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library
Fly High Fly Low