Dog, a little girl, lives in a pet shop with the man she knows as uncle. The name he gave her conjures up an image of a very unpleasant man. This is reinforced by his intimidated of her, constantly threatening to put her in a box.
Yet, despite the hardships inflected in her, Dog still retains her humanity and is able to develop positive relationships with the animals, feeling great distress when they are mistreated or sold.
Relief and the gaining of courage comes with the arrival of a talking parrot Carlos,who, aids Dog and her best friend Esme the Coati in their escape bid. The bid for freedom is successful. Carlos leads Dog and Esme on a difficult journey through the city to a save haven offered by one of his friends. From where they set off by the sea on another action packed journey to return to their country of origin and with that a sense of belonging.
A book that can be read on more than one level. It can be read as an adventure book that charts the escape of a child from difficult circumstances and her return to a friendlier environment. At another level this book introduces children to the issues of child slavery and the impact on their well-being, the illegal trade in animals, conflict between indigenous people’s and colonisers.