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Alfie the Kind

By Richard Harris & Simon Howe

Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

Alfie first appeared in  Alfie the Brave, also reviewed in StoryLinks. Richard Harris is an Australian anaesthetist and cave diver who played a crucial role in the Tham Luang cave rescue who wrote Against All Odds, about the Tham Luang Thai cave rescue of a boys’ soccer team trapped for days with no supplies and decreasing oxygen levels. . Simon Howe is an illustrator and author whose first  picture book, Shoosh!, was published in 2020.
Alfie is a ‘stout and strong’ Staffordshire bull terrier who lives with a loving family. His life is full of games and walks. He is not the bravest dog in the world – he is afraid of  magpies, the vacuum cleaner and the swimming pool looks very deep ‘for a dog with heavy bones’. He does wonder if he would ever find something he is really good at but Alfie’s family still adore him because he is helpful and funny in all sorts of ways. One day Alfie does discover his special power and its not being the bravest or the smartest dog but something much more important.
This humourous story is delightful in the all the ways it shows Alfie interacting in his totally doggy way with his friends and family. He is such a quintessential dog! The illustrations are pure magic. Who hasn’t seen a dog enjoying a car ride with his ears flapping in the wind,  playing zoomies with a youngster, or begging to go for a walk with the lead in his mouth? Even the endpapers tell us lots about Alfie.
As well as having an important message ‘maybe everyone is good at something’, this is a totally delightful portrait of a family and their pet which will be much enjoyed by everyone.
Puffin 2024 
Simon Howe
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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