Monday, September 29, 2014
A Dog Day by Emily Rand (Tate Publishing)
Ooh I say! New books from Tate are always well received at home, but here's a doggy tale that - despite several spirited readings - I couldn't get Charlotte to love as much as I did. Perhaps it was the rather brave move to produce a book in fantastic monochrome line-work. Perhaps it was just that Charlotte was a bit too old to take the tale at face value, or too young to pick up on the clever parallels between dog and toddler behaviour. But I persevered and carried on. It's been a while since a book has divided our opinions as much as "A Dog Day" but let's dip in and find out a bit more.
"Dog Day" follows the adventures of one of my favourite breeds of dog. A wire-haired terrier, excitable and full of energy, can't wait to get his lead on and go out for a lovely stroll with his master.
But his master has other ideas. As they pass by the terrier's favourite place (the park), and then pass by the entrance too, our poor doggy hero groans inwardly as his owner heads towards the local shops.
Boring! Very very boring!
The owner can't resist nattering to everyone, leaves the poor terrier moping outside in shops where dogs aren't allowed - and then has the audacity to have a long lazy lunch within a hare's breadth of the greenery and expanse that the poor dog wants to run around on (Charlotte did actually like Emily's illustration on this spread, the poor dog looks so miserable, poor thing!)
I love mono artwork, I think it lends itself to focusing the attention on tiny details, lends a comic-strip 'flatness' to artwork and Emily's hugely detailed and fun illustrations feel fresh and original (as you'd expect from any book finding its way onto Tate's catalogue!)
So why did Charlotte find it so tough to like? I must admit I'm completely baffled as I really did think it was brill myself - and quite fun to imagine Charlotte as a toddler having the same inner voice when I used to wheel her around the supermarket in a trolley, or take her around the shops in her wrap.
"A Dog Day" by Emily Rand is out on the 2nd October 2014 from Tate Publishing.
Charlotte's best bit: The poor dog's frustration at getting SO CLOSE to the park, and yet so far while his owner scoffs lunch!
Daddy's Favourite bit: A fantastic look, a rather nicely woven tale that parallels what it must feel like for a toddler being dragged around the shops by mum or dad. I really liked this but Charlotte wasn't impressed, oh dear!
(Kindly sent to us for review by Tate Publishing)