|Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede and Marije Tolman|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: A rather odd little book that's hard to place in any helpful category as it's really in a world of its own! Humourous, but perhaps more for grown ups than children?|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: March 2013|
|Publisher: Gecko Press|
Wolf and Dog are cousins, and whilst Wolf is wild and lives in the forest, Dog is tame and lives in a house with his boss. In spite of their differences they somehow develop a friendship, of sorts, sharing everything from food to fleas!
I have struggled for a while since reading this book as to how to review it. It's an odd little collection of stories, and although it has the look and feel of an early reader book I just get the feeling that some of the humour isn't really geared towards that age group. My six year old can make a good stab at reading it herself because the language is simple and also the sentence construction is very basic. For example, in the story about the flea it begins Dog has an itch. An itch on his head. An itch on his tail. An itch on his belly. An itch on his back which reminds me a lot of the old Ladybird 'Peter and Jane' books with which I learned to read. So it's certainly useful for an early reader to get to grips with, and each story is fairly short so the book can easily be broken up rather than read all in one go.
The stories themselves are perhaps just a little quirkier than I expected. They're about the differences between the wild Wolf and the tame Dog. They're about fleas and where the flea came from and whether Dog can manage to give the flea back to Wolf. They're about rhymes and word play and Dog getting one over on Wolf. It took some explaining, sometimes, to help my daughter to see what the joke was with the word play, and by then the moment of humour had often passed us by!
As the stories progress they become about one-upmanship, and whether Wolf will beat Dog, or Dog will beat Wolf. Wolf needs help in scaring a cat from his forest, and he promises Dog he'll get him in the newspaper because of his bravery in helping to get rid of the cat. Of course Wolf does no such thing, so then Dog needs to get his own back on Wolf, putting a 'for rent' notice in the paper for Wolf's forest! The situations do end up being funny, and perhaps if you commit to reading the book through a few times it becomes much funnier to read. My daughter hasn't come back to it since we first took a look, but I must confess that I've picked it up a few times since for a flick through. I'm not sure that I'm the target audience however!
There's an illustration of some description on each page, sometimes just quite small but other times much larger. They're nicely done, with a casual, entertaining style and they help the stories along nicely. I like the rough-looking Wolf who always looks suitably grumpy and wild. Dog is obviously much cleaner, more refined, and he has a sweet little pot-belly! I like the pictures of Dog with his flea, scritching and scratching all over the place! I also really liked the picture of Dog in his basket, holding onto his toy bunny rabbit!
I think it's certainly worth taking a look at this book, just to see whether or not it tickles your fancy. It's so unusual that I expect some readers will find that it isn't to their taste, but others will love the bizarre, burgeoning friendship between Wolf and Dog!
You can read more book reviews or buy Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede and Marije Tolman at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede and Marije Tolman at Amazon.com.
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