Book Monsters Advent, Picture Books / Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

It wouldn’t be a Book Monsters Advent without a classic book or two and here is another fond favourite of mine. Recently re-released in this stunning turquoise cover (conveniently my favourite colour too) Dogger, written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes and published by Red Fox Picture Books is celebrating 40 years since original publication!

Dogger tells a story many parents are familiar with, when a much loved toy goes missing. Poor Dogger gets dropped on the way to school one day, and finds himself on a school fair stall being sold! Dave, Dogger’s young owner is devastated but in this lovely story of sibling love and kindness, Dave’s sister steps in and saves the day and Dogger!

I always loved this story when I was younger because the battered looking toy was just adorable and appealing to me, the illustrations packed with detail and interest and the two main characters show so much love and kindness it always made my heart want to pop, and still does to this day! I think many children enjoy stories they can really connect with and identify with. Children love to see themselves in stories they read, and Dogger is a fantastic portrayal of a child’s love for their favourite toy and sibling relationships.

Shirley Hughes has been illustrating for many years and her inimitable style is instantly recognisable and still popular to this day. Her pages are packed with day to day life details that we all recognise, and her human studies are second to none.

The stunning 40th Anniversary editions come in two versions. The hardcover contains some extra content, including a letter from Shirley Hughes and a photo of the original dog that this story is based on. The paperback version contains an audiobook read by Olivia Coleman and is absolutely wonderful, bringing this endearing tale to life. I really believe Dogger deserves a place on every child’s bookcase to be enjoyed and passed on as I have done. This is a real heartstring tugger for all ages and an ideal Christmas gift.


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