Thursday 12 April 2012

Mog in the Dark

It had to happen. We found a Mog book we didn't like, but without a shadow of a doubt "Mog in the Dark" is an extremely clever book for a couple of reasons.

For starters, it uses a reduced vocabulary to tell a very imaginative story of what happens when Mog is outside falling asleep in the dark dark garden.

Secondly it focuses the story entirely on Mog with very little interaction with any other characters (any tangible ones at least), which means that young readers don't have the added distraction of jumping from one dialogue stream to another between characters.

The problem we had with the book was that Mog is a child-friendly character, but elements of the book are decidedly unfriendly. Children are afraid of the dark, and despite any book's assurance that 'everything's OK in the end, it was just a dream' those dark unknown imagined spooky things that lurk in the darkness are what children will focus on in this book. Dogs that fly, giant mice with teeth and all manner of rather nasty looking animals are in the book and in Mog's dreams so for younger readers it's probably a very thin line between what the book presents as reality and what isn't. Tough call that and it's the only time I've ever encountered anything in Judith Kerr's books that doesn't quite work as intended (for us at least).

Charlotte's best bit: Mog's flying antics

Daddy's favourite bit: Kerr's weird Dr Moreau-style animal creations

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars