|The Hounds of Falsterbo by Jules Nilsson|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A delight to look at and fun to read. I'd happily put the pictures up on the wall.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: December 2014|
|Publisher: Vind and Vag Publishing House|
|External links: Author's website|
In between the beach huts
Where the white sands meet the seas,
The heather meets the sand dunes
And long grasses dance the breeze.
And so begins the story of the three dogs who live in this idyllic location, known as the Swedish riviera, with its white sand, beach huts and a ban on jet skis to preserve the marine life. But Nalle, Buster and Teddy don't worry about things like that - there are far more important things to do, such as racing down to the sea (and into it; so refreshing on a warm day) and chasing anything on four legs which moves - all in good fun of course. Their story is told in verse and we hear of what they do and what they are like as individuals. People make the mistake of thinking that a dog is a dog - but each one has its own personality and temperament. Jules Nilsson brings this out perfectly.
Much as I loved the words I have to confess that it's the pictures (sketch, watercolour and oil pastel collages) which stole my heart. They're done with a soft palette and the muted tones bring the area - and the dogs to life. Nilsson has a particular talent for painting dogs: she's a careful observer who brings the dogs' actions off the page. There's a wonderful picture of Buster and Teddy play fighting and Nalle bowing down in front of them: you can hear him saying play with ME, play with ME. My particular favourite is of the three dogs dashing down the boardwalk to the sea - Nilsson captures movement perfectly. Running a close second as favourite is of the three dogs eating at the Kust Cafe - tails erect and heads down in their bowls.
It's a book you can read on several levels: the youngest child will see it as a simple tale of three dogs having fun on a beach. They'll love the story and there's plenty to talk about in the pictures. As the child grows there's lots more to talk about - the relationship between the dogs (Nalle is the boss, don't forget that), the ecosystem of the area and the wonderful wildlife.
I have to warn you that if you buy this book you will be booking a holiday to southern Sweden and particularly to Falsterbo, where the three hounds live. I feel that I ought to be able to name their breed, but I can't - have a look at the video in the box to the right and see if you can help me. It's a book which will appeal to dog lovers particularly but I think its charm will speak to a wider market and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Further reading suggestions:
Three to six year olds who like dogs will enjoy Fetch by Jane Cabrera and Dogs by Emily Gravett. If you like your dogs with added humour, try Man + Dog by Nick Wadley. Nilsson's style of painting put me in mind of David Gentleman.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Hounds of Falsterbo by Jules Nilsson at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Hounds of Falsterbo by Jules Nilsson at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.