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

Saturday 22 July 2017

Review: Dr First

Do Mr. Men and Little Miss books have a special place in your heart?

When I spot a new one, I have a burning need to know what is inside the cover. So when I found the mash-up of Doctor Who meets Mr. Men books, I did a little happy dance.

There will be 12 books in this series, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves. The first four books available are; Dr. First, Dr. Fourth, Dr. Eleventh and Dr. Twelfth.

The stories have the wittiness and humour of a Mr. Men book and the adventurousness of a Doctor Who storyline. The books are charming, amusing and enchanting. They are a good introduction to the Whoniverse for the whole family.

Each book condenses one Doctor into 32 pages. The story summarises the Doctor’s personality, common phrases and introduces one of his companions and his adversaries. The illustrations are in the Mr. Men style and they clearly identify each Doctor by depicting their signature clothing.

Dr. First: William Hartnell (1963 -1966) is a grumpy older man with grey hair, walking stick and wears a monocle. This Doctor’s companion is his granddaughter, Susan. In this story they are trying to escape and thwart the Cybermen.  IBSN: 9781405930055

Dr. Fourth: Tom Baker (1974 -1981) is a jovial rainbow scarf and hat wearing man, whose companion is Sarah Jane Smith. It would not surprise Whovian’s that while being chased by Daleks that the Doctor stops to ask a bird ‘Would you like a jelly baby?’ IBSN: 9781405930062

Dr. Eleventh: Matt Smith (2010 - 2013) is sporting his red fez and bow tie, while hopping from one time to another with his companion River Song. This Doctor runs around yelling ‘Yowza!’ and ‘Geronimo!’ as they dodge Zygons, Silurians and Weeping Angels. IBSN: 9781405930079

Dr. Twelfth: Peter Capaldi (2013 - present) is illustrated with grey hair and sunglasses. Instead of the usual act of running away from his adversaries this Doctor is chasing his oldest foe, Missy, though Earth’s history to prevent her from destroying the planet. IBSN: 9781405930086

If you were a Time Lord and had a TARDIS you could travel forward in time and space to read the next books in the series. But since we are mere humans we will need to wait until August for the release of Dr. Second, Dr. Seventh, Dr. Eighth and Dr. Ninth or until October to read Dr. Tenth Christmas Surprise.

Finally, to quote the Eleventh Doctor, ‘We’re all stories, in the end…just make it a good one, eh?’ and I think that Adam Hargreaves and BBC have managed to fulfill this quote.

Title: Dr First
Author/ Illustrator: Adam Hargreaves
Publisher: BBC Children's Books, Penguin Random House, $10.99
Publication Date: 25 April 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781405930055
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book