Saturday 21 September 2013

Children's book review : Stick Dog - Tom Watson

There's a bit of an in-joke at The Madhouse about square cows because Madhouse Grandad always used to draw cows (and horses and most other four-legged animals) that looked like rectangles. Well, imagine my delight when I opened Stick Dog and discovered this !

The opening premise is that the author can't draw but, nevertheless, he manages to create a group of heartwarming characters who are all very different and easily identifiable. Start off with a simple rectangle and you have the lovable eponymous hero, Stick Dog.

Make it longer and you have a dachsund. Add spots and it's a dalmatian.

A few curls and pompoms and it turns into a poodle and a few wiggly lines create a mutt. This is a great message for the artistically-challenged who think they can't draw. All you need is a little imagination. Look at Picasso !

The story itself is a fun romp in the park with the dogs who want to try and steal some hamburgers that are cooking on a family's barbecue and that smell totally irresistible. After having to make huge efforts to keep one of the squirrel-mad doggies focused on the task at hand (at paw?), then coming up with a hugely entertaining and complicated commando-style operation to steal the food, they learn that the best laid plans of mice and men (and dogs) often go awry and that honesty is the best policy. There are some lovely life lessons in there about friendship and integrity, and the book is filled with humorous episodes that will appeal to readers of all ages. The text is broken up with lots and lots of illustrations which really bring the story to life and will help keep beginner or reluctant readers interested .

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £5.99

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books (3 Jan 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0007494823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007494828
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm

Disclosure : We received a review copy of the book.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Picture book review : My Big Animal Book

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