The dog who danced on the moon by John Boyne. Illus. by Ashling Lindsay

cover image

This wonderful rhyming text tells the tale of Jeremy and his dog, Maxwell. Jeremy is besotted with space and watches the night sky with a passion. Maxwell is a dancing dog whose footsteps can be heard hopping over the ceiling, on the bed and even Jeremy’s head. Jeremy is dismayed when he tells his class of his interest, but Maxwell notices an ad in the paper, asking for adventurous people to fly into space. The pair goes along to NASA, but their age is against them. But they pass the tests set by the important man who finds that they are suitable and spins them off into space. Here they fix some of the satellites, discover new rocks and some new flowers.

While jetting to Mars and Venus they notice a comet coming their way. They work out it will hit the earth and its projected point of landing will be Perth, Western Australia. They make suggestions to the NASA base suggesting the comet be turned towards a black hole. Maxwell knows what to do: he stands on the rocket dancing, which spreads space dust out into the night sky, diverting the rocket into the black hole. On arriving back home, they find they are famous, feted by newspapers and cameramen.

People who had underestimated them now have to eat humble pie while Maxwell becomes a celebrity being the first dog to have danced on the moon.

Glorious illustrations cover each page, with lots of images of space to dwell on, with planets and stars, satellites and the moon, trails of space dust, comets and rockets all thrilling the readers, learning some of the words which apply to things in the night sky.

A wonderful exploration of being underestimated, of having skills that are derided by others, this book has huge appeal to all those space nerds out there, anyone who craves adventure and those whose minds are aglow with possibilities. And all told against the wonderfully bright and colour filled background of outer space.

Themes: Space, Space exploration, Comets, Adventure, Determination.

Fran Knight