Leo, Dog of the Sea (1519-1521) Dog Chronicles Series
Written by Alison Hart
Illustrated by Michael G. Montgomery
Sailing the high seas with Magellan at the helm sounds exciting and eventful. And it is, but also hard, scary and very challenging. Leo, the ratter dog, tells this exciting tale while trying to stay alive and aboard himself. The captain’s mate doesn’t like Leo or the stowaway boy so they forge a friendship to look out for each other on board ship as well as on tropical islands.
Storms, threatened mutiny, and severe illness plagues the trip but Magellan is determined to find a passageway between the two great oceans of the world. History is truthfully represented in this well researched story made accessible to grade two readers and those all the way into middle school. Grade five readers will enjoy it just as much while tying it to their study of the changing geography of the world.
All the characters are well developed and the setting described enough for the young reader to see it all and wish the book had more chapters. The illustrations are clear in their black and white format adding to the realism of wet, dreary, scary events. But even so, there is also some humor sprinkled in.
This addition to the Dog Chronicles Series will delight readers and allow teachers and librarians to explain viewpoints don’t only belong to people. Parents can use the book to entice children who might not otherwise be interested in a historical book, but could be drawn in by a compelling dog story.
- Title: Leo, Dog of the Sea (1519-1521) Dog Chronicles Series
- Author: Alison Hart
- Illustrator: Michael G. Montgomery
- Publisher: Peachtree, 2017
- Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
- Format: Hardcover, 175 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-56145-964-3
- Genre: historical fiction
- Grade level: 2 to 5
- Extras: Bibliography, Further Reading, Diagram of the ship of the day, Map of the Journey, author’s note and an in-depth chapter on the history behind the story.