Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 22 December 2011
This is a nice and slightly surreal story, but I found I was really unhappy with the way it deals with fire safety. It's not unusual for a children's book to have people doing silly things, but in this one the characters and situations are all described and drawn in a realistic way and the response of Phoebe to a fire is exactly the opposite of what you want your child to do if they discover a fire, which feels quite dangerous to me.
I suppose it's useful in that it's led to my little boy learning about what to do in the event of a fire a bit earlier than I might have imagined. However, he finds it very confusing when he sees what's happening in the story and how Phoebe is rewarded, whilst I'm explaining how she's been very silly. I've resorted to adding a little bit of extra story (what you don't see in the book is the bit where Phoebe goes out of the house to find a grown-up, who then calls the fire brigade, and it's actually the firemen who put out the fire) but I'm not sure how we'll tackle the issue once he's old enough to read and realises I've been making that bit up!
I'm also not keen on the idea that all Phoebe wants is a puppy, and at no point is any regard given to the fact that after a short while it will be a full grown dog. Still, I suppose these are the types of issues so often encountered when revisiting children's books from decades ago.