Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough
|Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: Fantastic picture book, with humour and magic; good rhythm, simple but well flowing rhyme, great illustrations and a huge feel-good factor. Suitable from about 2 years old, but 3 to 5 year olds would appreciate it most.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 38||Date: August 2004|
|Publisher: Walker Books Ltd|
Some Dogs Do is the best feel-good book I have encountered for ages, including the grown-up ones. It's hard to precisely say why, but somehow, the combination of the story, the rhyme and the illustrations is just spot on.
Sid is a dog - a pup really, probably equivalent to a 5-6 year old and he's drawn (or rather painted) in an enchanting but not overtly sweet manner, a fairly archetypal dog, with round tummy, floppy ears and shortish legs, a white coat with big brown patches. One day Sid is walking to school - walking through lovely, rolling countryside, dotted with farmhouses and trees, and he feels sooooo happy that he falls up towards the sky to fly in the land of sun and moon like a doggy shaped balloon.
This elated feeling is substantially dampened when nobody at school - including the teacher - believes him. All dogs walk and jump and run, but dogs don't fly - it can't be done. As sad Sid is sitting on a tree stump staring forlornly at the sky his Dad tells him a secret. The last few pages are filled with a gloriously happy, flying dog family.
The illustrations are wonderful: bold brushstrokes and clean colours, chunky dogs with shiny fur and floppy ears and most of all perfectly rendered expressions of emotional states: the flying Sid and family simply ooze elated happiness. Sad Sid is really, really sad and when his dad approaches, he's a picture of loving parental concern.
The rhyme is simple, bouncy and good for reading aloud with enough repetition to emphasise but not too much as to bore.
The message or moral if you wish is, of course, of believing in yourself against the opinion of both authority and the peer group. The family is warm and caring and flying is an age old allegory for joyful freedom of personal expression (by the way I think that those sad Freudians and the like who see dream of flying as symbolic of sex have either terribly over inflated view of sex or never had a proper flying dream).
Apart from reinforcing self-belief, the book would provide an excellent basis for talking to your child about different feelings and reasons for them as the drawn characters have such clear facial and bodily expressions.
All in all, a fantastic picture book, with good rhyme, great illustrations and a huge feel-good factor. I would say it's suitable from about 2 years old, but a 3 to 5 year olds would appreciate it most.
You can read more book reviews or buy Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough at Amazon.com.
Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough is in the Top Ten Books For Dog Lovers.
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