The Afghanistan Pup by Mark Wilson
Everybody loves picture story books. We learned as little children that the story is much more than the words, and it is important to read the pictures as well. Mark Wilson is a local author who has created a book for all ages in this touching story of war, destruction, and hope.
A pup is born in a village in Afghanistan, but he is born into a life of hardship. Mum goes off to look for food, and never returns. He finds a young girl to love him, but her schoolhouse is bombed. Imagine – daring to teach girls. Rescued by an Australian soldier, he finds a new home, but then one day the soldier doesn’t return from patrol. So where is the hope? A school is rebuilt and a young girl returns to finish her education. Guess who is waiting for her.
This books is much more than this simple plot. Wilson’s impressionistic illustrations add a great deal to the story. Even his use of colour changes the mood as quickly as you can turn the page.
This is not a book for the very young. In fact, I suspect some primary schools will refuse to offer it shelf space because of the confronting nature of the story. But it is a story that needs to be told, for the sake of the soldiers overseas and for the people surviving in the war zone.