Little Dog and the Summer Holiday

The summer holidays stretch out forever.

Little Dog and his family set off with their caravan.

A nostalgic and delightful story about the way family holidays used to be.

Little Dog and the Summer Holiday

From one extreme about the sea to another, both in readership age and content! This is the story of Little Dog – who many will have met before in Little Dog and the Christmas Wish, and he really is the most adorable doggy character.

In this book, he joins his family as they pack up and go on holidays in their caravan from Melbourne to Sydney. These books are very clever because they are set in the past, so they have that quaint nostalgic feel to them, but this is never mentioned in the written text – the clues are in Robin Cowcher’s gorgeous watercolour and ink illustrations.
Printed in heavy, matte stock with a beautiful pale buttery hardcover and interesting deep sea blue end papers, there is much to pour over in this apparently simple story. One of the things that this book does best is tell a story where the settings and period become background characters to the adventures had by the people and animal characters. If you’ve ever travelled up the east coast of Australia from Melbourne to Sydney in summer with your family then this is the book for you.
And don’t forget to check out the illustrator notes and author thanks at the back of the book, you’ll see how much thought goes into the details of these period images, and it’s a wonderful way to generate discussion.
– Words by Sarah Mayor Cox, FB note by Jo Printz


A beautiful accompaniment to Little Dog and the Christmas Wish, this book takes us on a caravan summer holiday from Melbourne to Sydney. Cowcher’s stunning watercolour illustrations set the mood of fond memories told with historical softness. Fenton’s poetic text includes delightful metaphors and smilies some favourites being….
The long, lazy days of summer holidays waited like parcels in a lucky dip.
As the sun dipped behind the sandpaper hills…
Each night everyone sat outside their tents and caravans playing board games as an eggshell moon glimmered high above.
An absolutely beautiful production to be enjoyed by young and old alike.
– Jackie Hosking, Pass It On


“If there is such a thing as a perfect ‘grandparents’ book’, this is it.”
– The Australian.


Magpies Review, September 2017.
Little Dog and the Summer Holiday (2017)
Corinne Fenton, ill. Robin Cowcher, Black Dog Boos, 24 pp.
9781925381160 $24.99 Hb

Although Little Dog is firmly at the centre of his family’s life, the real value of Little Dog and the Summer Holiday (by the author of Queenie: One Elephant’s Story and the author and illustrator of Little Dog and the Christmas Wish) is in the memories it will evoke in the Older Set and the opportunities to share these with the younger set for whom a lot of the details in the illustrations will be a mystery. Undeniably Australian, set in the late 1950’s and following a family’s Summer holiday trip from Melbourne to Sydney, the appropriately old fashioned flavour of the book dovetails with the time of which it tells.

Leaving early to avoid the heat of the day (Dad’s rule), passing mileposts and Savouring the delights of the open road, the family travel along in their Holden Special towing a shiny new, state of the art but wonderfully quaint, pumpkin-shaped caravan – maybe a Rowvan? They enjoy the simple yet exciting pleasures of days that stretch forever and different places in which to spend them.

The framework of the story can be found in the faithfully rendered art-work by Robin Cowcher. Her pen and ink sketches with watercolour finish are well crafted – from Bondi Beach, to Little Dog and his people, plus all the paraphernalia of the era: a Tilley lamp and old meat safe, used here to store the fruit; a set of anodised mugs and a heavy-as-a-rock Esky; leather suitcases and a little primus gas ring; hand-pumped refillable insect spray; bench seats in the Holden and no seat belts; the modest clothing of the beach goers – not a bikini (or less) in sight; and the carousel on the Manly Pier. Fenton’s gentle, flowing story of a different era has a specific charm.

Christine Horsfield


Australian Dog Lover Review, October 2017
A charmingly illustrated book and a delightful story
about a much loved Little Dog and his family.

The summer holidays stretch out forever. Little Dog and his family set off with their caravan from Melbourne to Sydney.

Set in the Summer holidays of 1957/58, this is a nostalgic story about road trips, camping, sunshine and the way family holidays used to be. Just as Little Dog and the Christmas Wish celebrated Melbourne, this is a lovely look at the Sydney of the 50’s, when dogs were allowed to share the fun with you practically anywhere…

Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Black Dog Books (an imprint of Walker Books Australia), 1st October 2017
For Ages: 5+ years old


The Children’s Book Council of Australia – Reading Time Review , January 2018
Corinne Fenton (text),  Robin Cowcher (illus.),  Little Dog and the Summer Holiday
Walker Books Australia
Oct 2017
$24.99 (hbk)
ISBN: 9781925381160

For me this book captures glimpses of my childhood, which was warming to reflect on. The familiarity of this story makes me wonder if it might represent the ‘typical’ Aussie upbringing.

The summer holiday adventures are told from the little dog’s perspective as it shares the joy of camping and holidays with his owners, Jonathon and Annie, Mum and Dad. The caravan is loaded up – it’s a team effort; and then the family hit the road, exploring different corners of Australia. The van will be their home away from home as they drive from caravan park to caravan park. It’s here that I remember making the best memories; making new friends and playing with other camping kids, bbqs, and board game tournaments; just like little dog and his family.

After capturing the sights and special moments on camera, swimming in the ocean and playing in the sand; it’s time to trek back home, the most familiar place of all. Little dog ends this story with three barks as they arrive home – signifying home as his favourite place to be.

Beautiful watercolour illustrations capture the sunny Aussie summer; with its blue skies, scorching sun and varying fauna.

A very pleasant read.

Reviewed by Raquel Mayman

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