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

Sunday 10 April 2011

Review: Douglas

Douglas is not your average run-of-the-mill dog. He is an extraordinary dog. A dog in a million.

So why is he so special? Well, he can read. He can drive a car. He can also paint, play golf, play the flute, cook, sculpt, juggle, skateboard, garden, play soccer, sing, snorkel and skate. Amongst other things.

But do all these other things make Douglas happy?

No. No they do not.

And this is true and plain to see because Douglas cannot wag his tail. He simply doesn't know how. And of all the fabulous things he has already achieved, wagging his tail is something he is desperate to do.

One day, Douglas is so upset about the tail thing, he begins to cry. A kindly bird named Basil hears him and offers to help, suggesting perhaps he should do something fun. But Douglas doesn’t know how to have fun. He doesn’t want to chase a ball. He’d rather play golf. He doesn’t want to go walkies. He’d rather ride his Vespa.

Can Basil help Douglas discover his inner giggle? Can he help him make that tail waggle, flick, spin?

Yes. Yes he can. And the results are heartwarming and hilarious.

Hargreaves has penned a delicious book in Douglas. A little text heavy, the words nonetheless flow beautifully, making it a delight to read. Thoroughly engaging illustrations will keep kids totally focused, anyway, and there’s even a sheet of stickers at the back of the book for them to enjoy.

This is a book of such fine balance, I can’t decide which I like more – the charming storyline or the stunning pictures that swamp the eye and quite simply make you smile and smile and smile. So much so, if you had a tail, it would surely wag.

Douglas is one of the most endearing picture book characters I’ve met in a long time, and I hope this darling dog keeps his tail wagging for a long time to come.

Title: Douglas
Author/Illustrator: G N Hargreaves
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $17.99
Publication Date:
ISBN: 9781405257275
Format: Soft cover
For ages: 5 - 10
Type: Picture Book

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