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

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Review: Too Many Cheeky Dogs

On Monday I went to my auntie’s house and guess what I saw? One yellow cheeky dog sleeping on the floor?

Too Many Cheeky Dogs shares a wonderful array of colours and locations around a remote Australian Indigenous community as the story moves from this quiet beginning through the days of the week. Each day, more dogs are seen as the reader walks from one location to another until the exciting conclusion of the story.

Too Many Cheeky Dogs incorporates colours, numbers and days of the week in a humorous story set in a fictional outback neighbourhood. Filled with bright colours, this wonderful picture book is the result of collaboration between Katherine-based education researcher Johanna Bell and up-and-coming Northern Territory artist Dion Beasley.

Dion Beasley is the artist behind the much loved T-shirt brand ‘Cheeky Dogs’. He has had exhibitions at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the National Gallery of Australia and has been recognised as one of the Northern Territory’s most exciting contemporary artists.

Dion’s story is an inspiring one, given that he has muscular dystrophy and is profoundly deaf. Author-illustrator collaboration on Too Many Cheeky Dogs involved some interesting challenges, with Joahanna learning Auslan to tell Dion the story and miming a football match between six cheeky dogs and a herd of donkeys! I love Dion Beasley’s dog illustrations and have been inspired to visit his Cheeky Dog website to find out more about his artwork.

Too Many Cheeky Dogs is a fun way of helping young readers learn their colours and days of the week and an enjoyable story to read with little ones as you explore the wonderful illustrations together. It's also a wonderful glimpse into life in a remote outback town.

Title: Too Many Cheeky Dogs
Author: Johanna Bell
Illustrator: Dion Beasley
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 22 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781743316221
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture book

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