Seth Casteel (Hachette Australia/ Hodder Children’s Books) 2014, 116pp, RRP $49.95

Award-winning photographer, Seth Casteel, hails from Los Angeles, California, and is the best-selling author of Underwater Dogs. What began in 2007 with volunteering to photograph homeless dogs to help them find new families has now turned into a stunning collection of beautiful, funny, strange and adorable pictures of the individual personalities of dogs and puppies. Every one of these cute and dripping wet puppies are rescue pets; each in a portrait that sums up the playful, serious, curious or determined nature of people’s best friend. Underwater Puppies - Seth Casteel - Hachette - Hodder - The Clothesline

Following the introductions on whether a puppy is right or wrong for you, their natural ability to swim and the importance of getting the right rescue puppy just for you and your lifestyle, there are pages and pages of gorgeously playful creatures as they dive in to chase the ball; it’s in these moments that Casteel captures the essence of each puppy in stunning colour and beautiful clarity. Hunter, the 6-week-old Wolf/Husky/Malamute-cross with his big blue eyes; the determined stare of Pansy, the 7-week-old American Pit Bull; the wide-eyed glance of Monty the King Charles Spaniel as his little mouth grabs for the illusive tennis ball; the content smile of Zelda the 8-week-old Labrodore Retriever/Australian Cattle dog as she glides on her pool mattress.

Some puppies are tiny and cute, some have snarling teeth of excitement, some are so innocent-looking you could just cuddle them to death. Floppy ears, long flowing dog hair, dopey smiles, sad eyes, pointy noses… every stunning portrait from this puppy-loving photgrapher will melt your heart faster than ice cream that drips down your arm on a steaming hot day. The “on land” portraits at the back of the book are equal scene-stealers as each of these lovely underwater pictures.

Casteel has created an entire (hardback) book of heart-stealing pictures of cute, furry, fuzzy, innocent-looking canines. You’ll lose count of how many times you say “naaawwww…”.

Catherine Blanch

Underwater Puppies is available through Hachette Children’s Books. Click here to purchase your copy.

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