The Scallywags Blow Their Top by David Melling

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The Scallywags Blow Their Top by David Melling

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A fun story, but it's the fabulous, action-packed illustrations that really make it special.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: November 2010
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340988152

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The Scallywags, for those who do not know, are a bunch of wolves who in their previous escapade had to learn a few manners in order to get along with the other animals. This time they're taking part in a play, a fairy tale story along with the other animals, and the wolves are playing the part of the dragon. Of course, things are destined to go badly and inside the dragon costume their tempers begin to fray until finally, as the costume rips, the wolves are sent home in disgrace. On the way home they all start blaming each other until they see, quite by surprise, that waiting by their house is a little sheep...

The moral to the story this time is one about controlling your temper. The little sheep turns out to be very bossy but overly sensitive to criticism, so when they finally have enough and tell her off for losing her temper with them she starts to cry. Loudly. The wolves make a sharp exit and decide to fix up the dragon and try the play again, this time being much nicer to each other...until the little sheep catches up with them that is! Living with a rather bossy little girl myself, I could see another moral in the story - that being too bossy will lose you friends!

There's a lot to like in this story. The moment when the wolves find the little sheep is brilliantly illustrated, and is followed by all the wolves starting to sniff her all over. My little girl was just enjoying the story as it was, but I couldn't stop laughing at the undercurrents of wolves eating sheep! There's so much to see on each page, as you look to see what all the different wolves are getting up to. The cartoon-style drawings are engaging and funny, and work very well with the text.

I thought the altercation between the sheep and the wolves could have been done a little better. We weren't sure why the wolves were using the dragon costume to climb up the tree, or why even the little sheep was crying. The page this all happens on involves turning the book a different way as the picture is printed to make the tree go across the full two pages, so I don't know if it was this switch in the pages that confused us, or just the story, but something didn't quite work and we had to go back a couple of pages to read it again before we figured out what was going on.

Apart from this little blip, this is a great story to share with older toddlers and early readers would enjoy giving it a try too, I'm sure.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: Join the Scallywags in their first outing.

Buy The Scallywags Blow Their Top by David Melling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Scallywags Blow Their Top by David Melling at

Buy The Scallywags Blow Their Top by David Melling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Scallywags Blow Their Top by David Melling at


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