Monday, 26 December 2011

Indie book reviews: Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat

I previously read Greta’s book, Gerald and the Wee People, and really enjoyed it, so when she asked me to proof her latest book, which was for children, I didn’t have to be asked twice. This book is written for early readers aged between 5 and 8. I don’t have children myself, so I can’t comment on how a child would react to them. I can say that I really like the book. The language is easy and flows well. The paragraphs are small and the storyline is easy to follow. It is deceptively simple though in that there are some ideas for children to think about. It's also funny and sweet, and the tales are interesting. Basically, Patchy is an all-out lover of fun and adventure, but his enthusiasm and overconfidence can lead to hiccups! Literally in some cases! Meanwhile, Calico is a bit more reserved and sensible, often trailing along behind Patchy, hoping to keep him out of trouble out of pure friendship. I love the way that the stories begin with the dog wanting to fly and end with him... I won’t give it away! The relationship between the animals is cute and reads believably, so it works. I really like the pictures and the one with the dog trying to fly made me chuckle. I think it’s good to include drawings in a book for kids. They suit the story because they are cute, fun and quirky. My favourite stories are Can dogs fly?, Wishes come true and Dogs can fly. I think the inclusion of questions at the end of each chapter is a brilliant idea – a way for children to look back over the story and think about it, and remember what happened. There are some lessons to be learnt, told through the two furry characters, and thoughts on friendship. I love the following quote from the first story, which sums up the book for me - "He learned a valuable lesson that day. Be happy with who you are and leave the flying to those who know how to do it." A lovely book for early readers.

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