Wake Up, Alfred! by David Ellwand

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Wake Up, Alfred! by David Ellwand

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A substaantial board book which some gorgeous photographs of Alfred the Great Dane in a gentle story.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 10 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Old Barn Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1910646014

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It's Alfred's birthday! We don't know how old he is, because once dogs have reached full size they tend to look much the same for quite a few years. And talking of looks, Alfred does look rather splendid – he's a Great Dane in gorgeous condition. But – back to the book! We see – in a series of black and white photographs – Alfred being woken up (he wears a nightcap), looking outside his kennel to see what the postman has brought him, opening his presents, laying the table before his friends arrive (and being just a little bit naughty by balancing a tea cup and saucer on his head...), putting the bunting up for the party, making the cake, having a much-needed bath (after making a bit of a mess with the cake), choosing which hat he's going to wear and then having great fun with his friends – there are seven dogs, two mice and a cat.

Now, I had to put one of my prejudices aside when I looked at this book. I'm stupid about dogs, but I don't like to see them being dressed up. I feel as though the dog is being made a fool of, and I scarcely think that they can enjoy it. But putting aside the fact that Alfred can't express an opinion and doesn't seem unhappy with what he's doing, particularly when it comes to the chewy bone, I entered into the fun of the story.

And there is a gentle story here, which is something most board books don't have. There's a progression which children over the age of about a year are going to understand. The photography is excellent and the pictures interesting. The boards are strong and will stand quite a bit of toddler handling (which is more than could probably be said for Alfred) and the corners are neatly rounded to avoid any injury when the book is used as a missile.

The book made me smile and there were giggles from the other reader: perhaps my prejudices should be challenged more often! I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

For a board book about another animal who really doesn't mind what he wears, we can recommend Elmer by David McKee.

Buy Wake Up, Alfred! by David Ellwand at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wake Up, Alfred! by David Ellwand at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Wake Up, Alfred! by David Ellwand at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wake Up, Alfred! by David Ellwand at Amazon.com.


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