Set in the Stone Age, it’s the story of a little boy, Youngest, who wants his own dog. But there aren’t any spare puppies in his village for the time being, so he makes do with a vaguely dog-shaped lump of Flint.
Youngest is a bit of a handful. He wants to be a Hunter, like his father and big brother, but he’s too young. He has to do jobs to help his mother. But he bunks off from time to time. One day he goes exploring the nearby magic caves with some friends. They mix up some paints and make footprints and handprints. (This is my explanation of how the ones in the Peche Merle cave came into being – this story is set in France, and arose from one of our holidays here before we moved here to live.) This annoys the gods who cause an earth tremor that causes a rockfall which blocks the cave off. Luckily the children got out first.
But he’s not all bad. He saves the lives of some men who are about to be crushed by the giant menhir they’re erecting with the help of his flint dog. And in return the Chief gives him one of his own puppies.
I did a LOT of research for this book so everything I write could feasibly have happened. Fun and informative – just what you need for a children’s book!
Super pictures by Kim Shaw, as ever with my Mentor books.