Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog! by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge

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Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog! by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Some adults will safely pass this by as being too stupid for its own good. But this is the right kind of silly, and a great, fun read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: August 2015
Publisher: Puffin
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780141359205

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Meet Gordon. He's a very safe bet, now you have met him, as he's a source of highly intelligent and descriptive warnings about danger. He and he alone can voice warnings about the Puddle Shark you might get eaten by, the Parp Donkey that might evict you by farting through your letter box, and the Headphones Crab that – well, the illustration here says it all. Now, I know what you're thinking. Advice this intelligent and salient could only really come from Docter Noel Zone, the world's only Level Five Dangerologist. And you'd be right. Gordon is the name Noel gives to his wardrobe. And Noel is currently living in Gordon the wardrobe, as his house has been taken over by a messy, noisy, and incredibly dangerous puppy. Add into the mix a pet contest hosted by the world's most dangerous man and you have a recipe for disaster (when all you wanted was a completely safe recipe for cabbage soup, as well…)

If that doesn't tell you that these books are completely absurd, then I have clearly tried hard and failed. (And trying harder than that is too dangerous, so sorry and goodbye.) After a great debut that taught us about no end of threats, and gave us an eye to the world of Noel, the cabbage-dealer love of his life and his pet stone, we have a first full-on sequel. And it's a great progression, suggesting this series can run and run for a couple more volumes at least. Once again we have a test at the end to level up our understanding of Dangerology, which will limit the length of the saga should we match Noel in book five, once again we're teased with how anxious the bus stop drama and the ghosts that might or might not haunt this book may make us, but we're introduced to a great little tale as well.

The world has opened out – gone are the pesky neighbourhood kids taunting the good Docter – we get two nieces for him, a stuntwoman sister, and more. The story doesn't do a lot to be completely clever and complex – it's just the puppy versus the stone as rivals for the pet contest, and it's not supposed to be clever and complex. You have to relish instead the completely OTT, ridiculous and ridiculously mirth-giving thought processes of Noel Zone. I was going to say that any child reading this will know a jobsworth like him, but I think that's wrong – he's so out of this world, barking mad and then some, that he could only belong on the pages of a book like this.

It's a great kind of book – one so pictorial I have no idea how the audiobook version could even work; one so lively and easy to read, what with large fonts, pages broken up with design left, right and centre and its completely appealing silliness; and one so patently child-friendly in that adults would probably flick through it and deem it errant nonsense. If you allow that kind of connection between a book and your child, that says it's for them and nobody older, then buy them this – they won't regret the decision. If you do deem that a book has to be sensible, straight-edged, and safe, then move along. For those who like this kind of thing, this seemingly adult-proof absurdity is securely on our shelves.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

You could have neighbours even more strange than Docter Noel Zone if you lived in the world of The Bolds by Julian Clary and David Roberts.

Buy Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog! by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog! by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog! by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog! by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge at Amazon.com.


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