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Dustbin Dad by Peter Bently and Russel Ayto

Dustbin Dad is a cautionary tale aimed at all of those children who leave food on their plate at the end of a meal. Dad likes nothing better than to polish off the leftovers, much to the disgust of his family. One day, however, he gobbles down a pint of something that tastes like fish chowder. Unfortunately, it is cat medicine and it has some very strange side effects indeed, as dad discovers when he hears a loud rip and a long tail pops out of the back of his trousers...

Dustbin Dad by Peter Bently and Russel Ayto

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Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: Dad has an annoying habit of eating leftovers, but one day he eats something that really disagrees with him....
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 32 Date: June 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781847388742

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Although this is a children’s picture book, the humour seems to be aimed at slightly older children and parents. When I was reading the story to my young son, I found myself having to explain a lot of the phrases to him because of the way that the book was written. Here is an example:

‘That mog’, said the vet, ‘needs some Puss-Pep-Up-Powder.
You mix it with water. It tastes like fish chowder.
One droplet will perk up your puss-cat like heck.
It’s a mere sixty pounds. We take cash, card or cheque.’

I actually found the story quite funny, but my son was really puzzled because the language and humour were too advanced for him.

He also found the artwork confusing. For example, on the first page, we see dad sitting with his family, grabbing all of the leftovers. Because he is moving so fast, he looks like he has several arms. I had to explain to my son that he was drawn that way because he was moving very quickly. In another scene, the dad is turning into a cat after drinking the medicine by mistake. Sensitive younger children may find the transformation quite disturbing and it is up to the parent to gauge how their child will react before reading this book to them. There are also a couple of scenes that will appeal to children who like gross humour; dad coughs up a hairball and does a poo on the neighbour’s lawn! Again, more sensitive children may struggle with this. My son was quite upset by it and turned the page quickly!

I think parents and older children will really enjoy this story, as it is a lot of fun. It is ideal for children who are starting to make the transition from picture books and becoming more confident readers. Dustbin Dad will appeal to those who enjoy cautionary tales in the style of Roald Dahl.

Some picture books are clearly NOT for sensitive children, but are incredibly funny! A great example is Not Now, Bernard by David McKee. We've also enjoyed A Dog's Life! (Knightmare) by Peter Bently.

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Buy Dustbin Dad by Peter Bently and Russel Ayto at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dustbin Dad by Peter Bently and Russel Ayto at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Dustbin Dad by Peter Bently and Russel Ayto at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dustbin Dad by Peter Bently and Russel Ayto at


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