'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 4 September 2010

Review: Tiny

Title: Tiny

Author: Jennifer Castles

Photographer: Steve Otton

Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $24.95 RRP

Publication Date: September 2010

Format: Hard cover

ISBN: 9781742373447

For ages: 4 - 8

Type: Picture book

About: Tiny is a working dog on a trip around Australia with his owner, photographer Steve Otton. Tiny is on a mission to find some friends for Steve and keep busy with work in the stockyards.

Told from the perspective of the dog, readers are taken on a tour of the country, using photographs in lieu of illustrations and a narrative of the whole trip.

I thought I’d really enjoy this book, given my love of Australia, travel, photography and dogs. Unfortunately, there are a few things about it that I’m not so sure of.

Firstly, the language used is quite basic and I felt it had been ‘dumbed down’ for kids. There are so many interesting words that I would have loved to see in here and that I thought could have added more character to the storyline.

Secondly, the use of photographs from around the 1980s – not noticeable when showing photographs of the dog, but glaringly obvious when people feature. (Although, this may bother adults – with its reminder of terrible 80s fashion! – more than children.)

Thirdly, the story lacks flow and direction. There is no real storyline to hook readers and each page could stand alone rather than read as a whole story.

The positives? There are some stunning photographs in here, showing the vastness of this nation, the loneliness and friendship. Readers will love the companionship between the dog and its owner and the unique look at a travelling life from the perspective of a beautiful creature.

This book is available online