Saturday, January 7, 2012

Greyfriars Bobby by Ruth Brown

I loved the movie as a child and found it very moving. The original movie version was made in 1961 and there is another version which was made in 2006 which I have not seen as yet. The picture book is equally beautiful but the story line somewhat different from the Disney movie. This story is told from the perspective of two young children, Tom and Becky who come across a monument to a dog called Bobby and who decide to seek out his story. Bobby they discover, was a Skye Terrier who belonged to old Jock and the two were inseparable. After Jock dies the faithful little terrier spends much of his time sitting at his master's grave in Greyfriar's Churchyard. The locals are deeply touched by such loyalty and they ensure he doesn't go hungry. There are a few different accounts as to exactly what the true story was. In this story Bobby's owner is a catle watchman, hereas some historians say his owner was actually a local policeman. This book offers a walk back in time into Scottish lore and the double-page spread illustrations capture the 19th-century townscapes.
A lifesize statue of the little terrier was created by William Brodie in 1872 after Bobby died and it stands in front of Greyfriar's Bobby's Bar in Edinborough, Scotland. It is a popular tourist attraction.
For some idea what the 1961 movie is like watch the clips below. I have just bought the original movie so we can do a film study at school, or a book film comparison for more advanced students.

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