Oliver & Patch
By Claire Freedman and Illustrated by Kate Hindley
Published by Simon & Schuster
Oliver & Patch is the second book by duo Claire Freedman and Kate Hindley (they also penned the amazing The Great Snortle Hunt together) and what a lovely, heartwarming story it is. It's about a lonely boy befriending a lost dog but knowing he must do the right thing and help find the dog’s owner and possibly lose his new friend in the process.
Meet Oliver, he has just moved to the big city and misses his life in the country, but especially misses his friends. One morning, Oliver goes out to explore and when wondering where to go next, he spots something bright red, its a dog lead and attached to the end of it is a small, soggy dog all alone. The dog’s collar tag reads Patch. As no one seems to be looking for Patch, Oliver decides to take Patch with him. They have a fun filled day getting to know each other and for the first time since moving to the city Oliver feels happy!
However, that night, Patch gazes longingly out the window and Oliver realises somewhere out there is Patch’s real home. Oliver wakes to an excited Patch and they play lots of different games; Hide and seek, tickle tummy, bury the biscuits and curl up and cuddle (their favourite). But at bedtime Patch is sad again and Oliver knows he has to do the right thing. So the next day Oliver makes some Found Posters (with Patch's help), but secretly hopes that no one will end up seeing them. As the days pass by no one calls, leaving Oliver to believe that Patch could be his dog forever.