Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy

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Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy

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Buy Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Anne Thompson
Reviewed by Anne Thompson
Summary: The first collaboration by mother and daughter team Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy, this is a visual treat and a perfect little book for the newly independent reader.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: August 2013
Publisher: Bodley Head
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781782300120

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The first collaboration by award winning children’s author Shirley Hughes and her illustrator/author daughter Clara Vulliamy has been eagerly anticipated for some time and this gorgeous little book more than meets expectations. In the first of a new series we meet Dixie, a car-loving dog who is always ready for adventure and Percy his smaller and slightly more cautious friend. Together the two chums enter an all-day race in Dixie’s car and are determined that they will win first prize. However, first they discover that they will be up against Dixie’s arch rival Lou-Ella, then all manner of mishaps cause them problems and the race does not go smoothly for our heroes. Can Dixie save the day?

There is a reassuring solidity about Dixie in his tweeds and waistcoat. Young readers will probably have a feeling that all will be well in the end and they would be right! However, there are some thrilling close shaves involving trains, level crossings, breakdowns and a cliff top scene reminiscent of The Italian Job before we reach a happy ending. As you would expect from Shirley Hughes there is a lovely, gentle feel about this charming story, even Lou-Ella is irritatingly smug rather than frighteningly bad. This is pitched perfectly for its intended audience and would be a wonderful book for a newly independent reader. It is cleverly broken up into seven short chapters, one for each day of the week, ensuring that a child would experience a sense of achievement in completing a book over a short period of time. It would work brilliantly read aloud too, either one chapter a night or maybe all in one go.

The book itself is a visual treat. Everything about it is just gorgeous for little children from the small, chunky, hardback feel of it which is perfect for small hands to the cheerful illustrations in tones of red, black and white. There is a stylish, retro feel to the overall look which is very appealing. I wanted to keep picking this up to have another look and each page contains lots of detail for children to explore and talk about.

The extras included deserve a special mention adding much to the overall enjoyment. These include maps, an interview with Dixie himself, Percy’s Perfect In-Car Games and a quiz. The taster of the second book included at the end promises more fun and games in the future too and I have a feeling that Dixie and Percy will become a much loved partnership. The jolly website also includes a range of child friendly activities and information. I loved this happy book and think young children (and their parents!) will too. Highly recommended.

Thank you to the people at Bodley Head for sending the copy of this book to the Bookbag.

Another jolly series of stories for the emerging reader are the hilarious Claude books, the first of which is Claude in the City by Alex T Smith. Coincidentally these also feature a dog but this time his best friend is a sock!

Buy Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy at Amazon.com.

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