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Dog in Boots Paperback – 4 Jan 2018
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A story about loving who you are!
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The genre of romantic comedy is not the first thing you expect to read in a children’s picture book, but this is what Paula Metcalf set out to do with ‘Dog in Boots’ and she pulls it off. This is a comedy of errors that has more than a little of de Bergerac about it, but rather than have a big nose, Philip has short legs. He gets the help of his friends to disguise his stature and several of his daft ideas are very amusing. When disguises fail, perhaps poetry will work? The moment that Philip’s prose gets him into trouble is a highlight as it is very funny and uses the lift the flap element well.
As well as being a story book, ‘Dog’ is also a lift the flap book. However, unlike many books with the flap format, there are not tons of them. Each page is not adorned with flaps for the sake of them, but they are used sparingly to inform the story. In fact, I don’t think I have seen flaps used quite as well as seen in this book, many of the best jokes are hidden behind the few flaps on offer.
Metcalf has done a wonderful job of taking an adult feeling romance story and making it appeal to kids. Philip gets up to some silly antics, but at the core he just wants to go on a date. The illustrations are clean, colourful and work well – only being enhanced by a good use of flaps. For a 4-5 year old who is starting to read for themselves, or wants a slightly longer picture book to be read to them, ‘Dog in Boots’ is a great option.
He yearns to make contact, to become friends or more, but feels their love is doomed, because of the perceived inequality in their sizes. I read this to my four year old grandson and he was intrigued. There are half a dozen flaps to lift, we had imagined there might be more and so were distracted by looking for possible flaps on the flat pages. There is a naughty joke, involving a sign Philip paints on his house, that is half hidden when the shutters are open; not a concept that is easily understood by an English four year old who hasn't seen outside window shutters. So with some explanation we got to the happy ending, however the book will work better on the second time of reading I feel when expectations are managed and no adult explanations are required.
My six year old grandson stood politely by when I was reading but moved away afterwards without comment. I don't think this book will become a classic like a Julia Donaldson but it will be a good show and tell for a class, or distraction for a sit down with a pile of books together.
Paula Metcalf has written many children’s books including “My Mummy”, “The Perfect Guest”, “It’s My Birthday!”, “Mabel’s Magical Garden” and “Poddy and Flora”.
Philip is a cute little Dachshund and he’s in love with his neighbour Penelope, he thinks she’s really great, but there’s one problem, he’s frightened she might not like him because he’s a lot shorter then she is. Before he meets her, he decides to do something about it.
That’s all I’m going to say as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that wants to read it.
The author has done a lovely job with both the story and the colourful illustrations. I also love the way she’s used flaps, so the children have to move them to see what’s underneath.
This is a lovely book to read to your little ones as it makes a great bedtime story.
My eldest who is 6yrs loved reading this to her little sister who is 3yrs old.
The reading age for this book I would say is 6 years and above.
I can personally recommend this book.
Lovely story with a few flaps for the lo to lift up and explore. Got some laughs and provided a nice stimulus for discussing anxiety, self-esteem, confidence and acceptance (all in much child friendlier terms though lol).
Great story and lovely illustrations make it an engaging read for little ones. My own lives dogs too so that made it even better.
While Dog in Boots is not bad, it didn't quite live up to expectation. The moral of the story is very sweet, but it did feel like a bit of a mission to keep my 3 year old interested in the story until the story unfolded fully.
Advertised as "with Funny Lift the Flaps" I was expecting a lot more interaction with the book, which would have helped to keep her entertained and interested, but there are only 2 or 3 and they're not on every page, like I had expected.
Just overall, a little disappointed in general.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a charming story from established children's writer Paula Metcalf about pretending to be something you aren't and the problems that can cause.Read more
The cut out surprises are fab as well
Very much recommended