Shep: Our Most Loyal Dog (True Story) by Sneed B. Collard III and illustrated by Joanna Yardley, is a poignant story that might be just right to read for Valentine’s Day.
Based on a true story, people began to notice that Shep the dog showed up whenever a train came into the town of Fort Benton, Montana. No one knew why he did this or where he came from. Slowly, however, the mystery was unraveled. Shep had belonged to a sheepherder who had passed away. The man’s body had been put on the train to be shipped for a funeral in another place. Shep evidently met the incoming trains in the hope that his master/owner/human would return. He would continue to do so for more than five years!
Shep’s story has touched a lot of people, both in the 1930’s when it occurred and today. The town of Fort Benton has even erected a statue in his honor.
As for the book, the author has done a wonderful job of remaining true to the story, yet keeping it appropriate for children. The lovely illustrations are dynamic and capture a sense of place.
Shep: Our Most Loyal Dog is a cuddle-up and read with your favorite person kind of book. It is an absolute must for dog lovers, and might be a useful way to approach the topic of loss, as well.
Are you going to be in Tucson this month? Author Sneed B. Collard III will be at the Tucson Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 9, 2013.
And now, a video showing actual footage of the real Shep, as well as illustrations from the book:
Reading level: Ages 6 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (October 31, 2011)
The book was provided by the author for review purposes.
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.
Today’s round-up is at Abby the Librarian.
4 Replies to “Shep: Our Most Loyal Dog”
Thanks so much for the great review! This project really was a labor of love, and I was very lucky to interview several people who, as children, knew Shep. One of these, Steve McSweeney, was especially close to Shep. His knowledge of the dog really allowed me to write this book. Sadly, Steve passed away just recently, but I’m grateful I got to meet and interview him before he died.
What a gift to be able to talk to someone who knew Shep. What a piece of history!
This would be a marvelous book to pair with “Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog” by Pamela S. Turner. From Booklist: Hachiko, a dog who kept vigil for nearly 10 years at a Tokyo train station, waiting for his deceased master to return from work.
Wow, that is amazing that the dog kept it up for 10 years. Thank you for letting us know about it.