This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne
|This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Rachael Spencer|
|Summary: A rare genuine five star recommendation for this brilliantly clever book about the book who ate Bella's dog when all she was trying to do was take him for a walk. Buy it and see if you can help her get him back.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: September 2014|
|Publisher: Oxford University Press|
Longlisted for the 2016 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
Shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award 2016: Books for Younger Children
Bella decides to take her dog for a walk across the page of this very naughty book, when what does the book do? It eats her dog! The cheek! Various people and vehicles go in after it, but none of them come back out again! There's nothing for it, Bella will just have to sort it out herself...
This is an incredibly clever and funny premise for a picture book, and right from the start of this review I cannot recommend it highly enough. The text is simple enough to be easily understood by a wide range of readers, making it a book which the whole family can enjoy together. And they will, because it is so funny that I laughed out loud a LOT whilst even just flicking through it.
It has a bold yet plain style of illustration which suit the plot well, focussing the attention of the reader on what is happening on (and in!) the page, without distractions. I particularly like the way in which a skyline is hinted at in the backdrop on the pages, with sponge-style painted dabbing in plain squares, giving some depth and height to the images just by suggestion. The text font is also plain, further adding to the feeling of dry humour behind the story. This is added to when Bella's hand written notes to the reader appear, giving another nice layer to the story telling.
All of these things are good, but best thing about this book, however, is the interaction it asks of the reader. This is, by far, one of the most inventive uses I've seen of a picture book for a long time and gives a real sense of excitement and mystery as you are asked to pick up the book and shake it to try and rescue everyone who has disappeared between the folds of two pages. But will they come out? You'll just have to read it for yourself to find out!
A completely unique, entertaining and joyful book which I will recommend again and again to anyone who asks.
Another nice story for young readers which makes good use of the fact it takes place inside a book is Ernest by Catherine Rayner, the story of a Moose who is just too big to fit inside his own book. You should give it a go if you particularly enjoyed This Book Just Ate My Dog!
You can read more book reviews or buy This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne at Amazon.com.
This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne is in the Top Ten Books For Sharing 2014.
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