Neville Mills

Ralph, Buster & The World’s FIrst Dogathlon


Noosa Today

Friday July 6, 2011

Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright, one of Australia’s most respected authorities on children’s literature, describes the book:--

    Ralph’s grandfather needs a heart operation, but there’s a long waiting list.  If Ralph can raise $5,000, then Pop can have the operation privately. His only hope is to win the world’s first Dogathlon, being held in Ralph’s hometown, Noosa, Queensland. The race involves a boy (or girl) and their dog, running for three kilometres and swimming two hundred metres. First prize is $5,000. But Ralph and Buster have serious competition, particularly from his school rival, Jimmy and his dog, Fang. Pop, who used to take part in the Noosa Triathlons, has agreed to train Ralph and Buster. Can they win the race and secure the prize money for Pop’s operation? 

    The concept of a ‘dogathlon’ is unique and likely to be very appealing to a junior audience, particularly given the enormous participation in triathlons in recent years. This story for 6 - 12 year-olds is about triumphing over adversity, and a moving account of a boy and his grandfather’s teaming up to develop a winning program for a new race. It’s also a story about a boy’s close relationship with his dog, and how Ralph and Buster find the strength to defeat their competitors. The characters are engaging, and there’s plenty of conflict in the rivalry between Jimmy and Fang, and Ralph and Buster which creates some nail-biting action.

    Neville Mills has created a very entertaining story, and Roy Bisson’s illustrations perfectly  capture the fun and the fast-paced energy of this exciting new work.        

Books available direct from the author - $15 + pp.

Telephone: 07 5449 9635mailto:nevmerope@bigpond.comshapeimage_2_link_0