Best Friends by Mara Bergman and Nicola Slater

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Best Friends by Mara Bergman and Nicola Slater

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A fun rhyming story about some happy, cheeky doggies!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2014
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 9781444914191

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This story has a touch of Hairy Maclary about it, perhaps because it's written in rhyme and is all about doggies. Here we meet Dexter McFadden McSimmons McClean (try shouting that out in the park when he's run away!) and two other dogs called Daisy and Lily (shamefully short names in comparison to the mighty Dexter!) They are all out and about in the park with their owners, running, strutting and playing ball. None of them are particularly attentive to their owner, however, and so it isn't long before they've all disappeared off to cause lots of trouble!

Dexter, a rather striking greyhound, crashes another family's picnic. I rather like how the coffee pot and china teapot go flying as he launches himself onto their picnic blanket - rather a fancy picnic they're having! Daisy is a dachshund and she manages to terrify someone quietly reading in the park by appearing at both ends of a log because she is so long! Lily, meanwhile, gets tangled up in a little boy's kite. Naughty doggies! This isn't the end of the trouble, and there are further mishaps caused before the children find themselves all bellowing together, trying to find their dogs who, you might have guessed, end up in the pond. I have to say, the children look less distressed by being covered in wet dog water than I would be when the dogs get out and shake themselves dry. Still, the day isn't a complete disaster because the three children, and the three dogs, become firm friends after their park adventures.

I love the illustrations in this story. They're incredibly cheerful-looking, and they have a sort of 1950's feel to them somehow. They're colourful and energetic. You can really feel the movement through the story, and it's lots of fun to see all the mischief the dogs get up to. My personal favourite is Daisy the dachshund although I would also like to make special mention of the unnamed pug who can be found on one page wearing a fez...adorable! I found myself thinking of lots of happy memories of my younger days with my family dog, Barney, and dog lovers will certainly enjoy all the antics going on.

The story romps along at a good pace, and the rhyming didn't leave me cringing at all and, actually, there are some lovely parts. My little boy is especially fond of the page where sandwiches, newspapers, blankets went flying and one little baby kept crying and crying. I can't tell you how many times we have skipped all of the story just to land on that page and repeat the phrase about the baby who kept crying and crying! Anyway, it has a good rhythm to it, and we've read it repeatedly for several days straight without me losing my mind! A fun story, great for dog lovers and children who enjoy mischief in whatever form it takes!

After you've taken a look at the wonderful Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd you should then immediately move on to Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough which is a wonderful, wonderful book!

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Buy Best Friends by Mara Bergman and Nicola Slater at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends by Mara Bergman and Nicola Slater at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Best Friends by Mara Bergman and Nicola Slater at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Best Friends by Mara Bergman and Nicola Slater at


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