Sunday 28 June 2015

Is there a dog in this book?


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You may also be interested in:There Are Cats in This Book

Details: Author/illustrator: Viviane Schwarz. Published by Walker Books 2014.

The story:
Three cats- Tiny, Moonpie & Andre, think there might be a dog in the book. From the cover pages, we can see that, a dog in their territory could be an emergency situation- just look at those panicked eyes! 
Speaking directly to the reader , the cats ask that you help them to hide from the dreaded Dog …..although, Tiny is curious, he doesn’t  know what a dog actually is…maybe Dog could be nice? Hiding behind the sofa, in the piano,  in a suitcase (underneath book flaps) they ask that, you help keep them hidden -but how can we resist those flaps?!  
Finally, the dog sniffs them out- initially there is cat panic- until the felines realize that,  the dog is friendly. But, oops- Tiny mentions that the reader could cuddle the dog and he runs away scared. Oh dear-their friendship is only blossoming and those cats must find their doggy friend. After a page of numerous flaps-Dog is found, all is well and the author closes with ‘There are three cats and  a dog in this book. They are all your friends.’

Why I Like This Book :
Hang on!
'Like it’ ??
I LOVE it!
This is such a FUN, interactive book! How refreshing to find a 'Lift the Flap’ book which is not  a predictable game of peek-a-boo. This is 'Lift the Flap’ advanced style!
The story is entertaining with 3 endearing cat characters. They speak to the reader, with text in speech bubbles and in their panicky manner, ask that you the reader, do not reveal their hiding places. But, who can not look at a flap without opening it?! 
And these are not your average lift the flaps- each action (of flap lifting) changes the nature of the story, with both the front and rear of each flap adapting to the story line i.e the facial expressions of the cats may be different depending on which side of the flap falls onto the page….on one page, the lifting action results in the dog being touched by one of the cats.
While the cat characters interact with the reader and each other in text, the dog does not talk directly to the reader- however, he communicates through his facial expressions, sniffing , cute tail wagging and woofing.When we do see text bubbles above doggy, they are filled with stick-like drawings or symbols such as a love heart at the end. I like that there is a subtle difference here and this allows  readers to make their own interpretations about the dog thoughts. 
The illustrations are fun, bright, varied in texture and engaging- standing out well on the white background.
The flaps are of  a card like quality, vary in size  and will withstand plenty of flapping/lifting by the older child- but younger toddlers may be tempted to tear. I think a child of 3+ would enjoy this story and be able to manipulate the pages/flaps with care.
What the child can learn from this book:
This book will appeal to a child’s sense of humour. At the same time, it may give insight into emotions such as fear, panic, curiosity (Tiny doesn’t know what a dog is and asks lots of questions) relief, joy, excitement and togetherness. Children will also learn a little more about typical dog/cat relationships- and how assumptions and preconceived ideas about others can be limiting/untrue.
In short/less of the waffle:
This is a very cleverly designed interactive book with a comical story line, cute characters & fantastic illustrations. 
I Love it!  See some video reviews below.
Also, author Viviane Schwarz provides printable downloads and knitting patterns for Moonpie, Tine & Andre on her website.See link below.
Happy reading, 
Missus B :)
Viviane Schwarz's 'Fun and Freebies' page here
My video review:

A video review by a child:

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buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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