Good Dog Bad Dog: Double Identity by Dave Shelton

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Good Dog Bad Dog: Double Identity by Dave Shelton

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Tony Taylor
Reviewed by Tony Taylor
Summary: Wonderfully illustrated graphic novel detective story for older children. Fast-paced and ideal for engaging children to read. Adults will enjoy a quick read too.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: November 2016
Publisher: David Fickling Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1910989005

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There has been a killing in Collie-wood, a bustling movie-making city. Two detectives are on the case – Kirk Bergman and Duncan McBoo, however this one's not going to be easy to solve. Throughout Muttropolis there are crafty canines who will stop at nothing to keep the truth locked away. Surely nothing is going to stop these shrewd detectives from solving the case and enjoying a celebratory glass of milk-shake.

I was surprised when opening this book as I hadn't expected a comic-book style publication. What first stuck me was how amazingly this graphic novel has been illustrated by the author/illustrator David Shelton. Almost thirty pictures per double page, all in clear bold colours on glossy paper make this a very attractive alternative to a typical story book. The sheer quantity of pictures mean that they are crucial to the development of the story as, of course, the written word in the graphic novel does not give layers of detail and description which you would find in a narrative. Children can follow the story and understand it further due to these detailed pictures.

The story itself is quite authentic to a typical New York style police crime drama. There is a murder, two detectives, one with a penchant for something sweet, there are chase scenes, bar scenes and a couple of female interests along the way. I really liked this theme and smiled at the clever use of names and ideas reminiscent from TV dramas.

I did though, struggle to place this in a particular age group. From the front cover and reading the blurb I had the impression that this book would be appropriate to share with my 7-year old son – as a fun dog detective book. However, the word choices, themes and plot was not really suitable. There are moments when two characters have had too much to drink and their words are slurred:

Ah, whaddya mean? I'm steady as a rock me!

Thash right He'sh shteady ash a rock!

My son did not understand the point here and obviously I decided not to explain in great detail. Having said that, I really think children aged 9-11 will absolutely love it. It gives them a slightly adult feel in a children's comic book friendly-style. This will be a big hit particularly with boys. I can see that a group of boys in my class will be fighting over who gets to read this first. As boys can often feel put off with reading, this book will be the perfect antidote to that. It has a movie/TV feel to it and reads in a fast paced way which will greatly appeal.

For further reading, I recommend Marvel Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer Thank you to the publishers for sending a review copy to The Bookbag.

Buy Good Dog Bad Dog: Double Identity by Dave Shelton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Good Dog Bad Dog: Double Identity by Dave Shelton at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Good Dog Bad Dog: Double Identity by Dave Shelton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Good Dog Bad Dog: Double Identity by Dave Shelton at Amazon.com.


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