Monday 2 July 2012

I Want a Dog! By Helga Bansch (North-South Books)

When I was a wee whippersnapper, both sets of grandparents had dogs. Toby (The Webb side) was a mischievous Manchester Terrier cross who liked to sit in the front seat of my Nan's old Hillman Minx and 'drive' to our destination (but he'd sleep all the way home in the back seat, content he'd done his job). My other Gran, Granny May, had Dachsunds. Two. William and Fred. William was a svelte little fellah, Fred was the dog equivalent of 'portly' but vicariously 'owning' dogs this way probably meant I never really wished for one of my own.

The girl in Helga Bansch's sublime book "I Want a Dog!" really wants a dog, really really wants a dog. Not a Dog puzzle. Not a knitted dog, nor a wooden dog on wheels, but a real live dog.

She begs, pleads and badgers her parents but they claim the apartment is too small, so the poor lass never gets her wish. Until one day she has a genius idea. Advertise to 'borrow' one.

What follows is a touching story, beautifully illustrated with lovely painted panels, and introducing us to Rollo, a playful, smart and funny Dachsund who has such a winning doggy smile that you'll just fall hook line and sinker in love with him. As Charlotte did when she read this book.

There are so many books of this ilk out there, child wants pet, child can't have pet, child settles for something else - but this is just beautifully told, and beautifully illustrated. A well deserving book of the week.

Charlotte's best bit: Rollo being naughty and stealing the girl's 'tie bow' from her hair (She always calls them tie bows!)

Daddy's favourite bit: Rollo's smile. A dog smile, but a smile that just gets you 'right there'

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, book of the week