|The Dudgeon is Coming by Lynley Dodd|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Another classic from Hairy Maclary's Lynley Dodd. The Dudgeon is coming, and he's shy and polite. Try telling that to the taffeta cat, hopalong snoot, and all their friends, who work themselves up into a frenzy, because the Dudgeon sounds scary.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: January 2009|
The Dudgeon is coming, and he's shy and polite. The bombazine bear tells the taffeta cat, who mishears and tells the hopalong snoot that he isn't polite. The hopalong snoot passes on the message, but he's misheard too. On and on the game of Chinese whispers goes. Everyone works themselves up into a panic about the impending arrival of the now-dreaded Dudgeon...
Lynley Dodd is a masterful writer and illustrator. As anyone who's ever read Hairy Maclary will tell you, she's got a wonderful ear for the rhythm of words. Much like its more famous forebear, The Dudgeon is Coming uses this pace and rhythm to build up the interest and tension, before the big payoff at the end. It was perfectly done in Hairy Maclary, and it's perfectly done here.
The weird and wonderful creatures are bright, vibrant, quirky, fun, surreal, and charming. Dodd plays with the language as much as she does with the ideas and illustrations: there's a stickleback twitch in his bamboo canoe, and a pineapple pig in her mudwallow ditch. Young readers won't know all these words (and I had to look up bombazine), but it doesn't matter: the illustrations beautifully fit the sound of the words. There are big words, but the story isn't pitched above the heads of its young audience. The illustrations, as always, are top notch.
What I like best about Lynley Dodd's books is the opportunity to really ham it up. Here, as with Hairy Maclary, there are a wide range of characters, all requiring a voice of their own. The building tension cries out for over-the-top scared faces, with reader and readee playing along, safe in the knowledge that the Dudgeon is shy and polite really. The Dudgeon is Coming is a book for laughing at, cherishing, acting out, and loving for years and years to come. Highly recommended.
Huge thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
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