Sophia, the Alchemist's Dog by Shelley Jackson

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The king's alchemist has only two weeks -- and then his royal master is coming to the laboratory, expecting to see that the poor man has turned lead into gold. The king loves gold.

Sophia, the alchemist's dog, loves her master, the man who, day and night, despondently ponders and dreams and draws and doodles panicky thoughts about gold on piles and piles of paper.

He is tormenting himself for he can learn nothing, from anywhere, about the magic expected of him. And he is neglecting his friend Sophia who misses her fine walks and misses the man's loving company.

So it is that Sophia, for reasons any dog will understand, sets up a laboratory of her own under the table while her master woofs and paws the pillow nearby in his unhappy sleep. What Sophia discovers about alchemy is unforeseen, a miracle that amazes us to this very day.


About Shelley Jackson

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Shelley Jackson is the author-illustrator of The Old Woman and the Wave. She has painted pictures, as well, for Cynthia DeFelice's Willy's Silly Grandma and other books for children. She's also written one book for adults, The Melancholy of Anatomy, and has appeared on stage in a funny costume. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Published March 1, 2001 by Dk Pub (T). 48 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sophia, the Alchemist's Dog

Kirkus Reviews

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The King arrives and when the alchemist has no gold to show him, Sophia is ready to roll out her gold lump when the King finds treasure of a different sort—in the alchemist’s sketches.

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Publishers Weekly

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Sophia's artistic master is good at some things—he draws intriguing interpretations of his dreams, for instance, and he can "stir two bad smells together and make a third completely different smell"—but as the king's alchemist, he's a flop.

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