Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford

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Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford

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Buy Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A delightful story of how a talking dog helped two children who were being bullied. Beautifully illustrated.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: October 2018
Publisher: Troubador Publishing
ISBN: 978-1789016321

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In some ways it was a gentler time: video games were around, but children usually went outside to enjoy themselves. They flew kites and went sledging if there was snow around. Tim and Mary's great-grandfather started a business in 1899 so our story is probably set in the nineteen seventies. Something which hasn't changed, unfortunately, is bullying and two lads are making life miserable not just for Tim and Mary but for other children who gather in the playground. Tim's probably about ten - just at the stage where he's beginning to feel responsible for his younger sister, who's two years younger than him, but he's not yet at the stage where he knows how to deal with bullies.

We meet Tim and Mary at the same time that they meet the dog who's the star of this story. He looks as though he's living rough, with a matted coat, but he's friendly to Tim and Mary and appreciates that they want to be friendly with him. They might have got to know him better, but two older boys started bullying a young child and the situation could have turned nasty had it not been for an authoritative voice demanding that they stop. They couldn't see who had shouted at the bullies and it wasn't until there was more bullying in the summer holidays that they realised that the dog they had befriended couldn't just talk, but could hold intelligent conversations and demand that bullies stop what they're doing! And what a tale Tadcaster has to tell.

Oh, but it's a lovely story! It's perfectly suited to the emerging reader who's mastered the idea of chapter books with just a few illustrations to supplement the text, but who's not yet ready to go onto the more complex stories which suit the confident reader. It's a story too which will benefit from sharing between child and adult, opening up discussions about whether a child believes that a talking dog would come to their rescue in a situation such as those described in the book and if not, what would they do? You might, of course, learn that there's something your child needs to discuss with you: it's often easier for a child to be forthcoming when they don't immediately have to admit that they're being bullied. And let's not forget that children do sometimes bully others without realising the effect that they have. An anti-bullying website will give plenty of advice will come in handy: here at Bookbag we like kidshealth.org

I liked the clear font of Tadcaster and the Bullies, although children who suffer from dyslexia might struggle with the fact that the text is justified which can mean that they lose their place on the page easily. Vocabulary is appropriate and occasionally challenging, as it should be and it's a story which will stand several rereadings. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy along to the Bookbag.

Slightly older children might appreciate reading Walls by Emma Fischel.

Buy Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford at Amazon.com.

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