Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Old Dog by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross (Andersen Children's Books)

Aw poo! A while back, I had a vague concept for a children's book idea mapped out in my head, and did some preliminary sketches / character work for the book. In it, a girl visits her grandmother for the day and bemoans the fact that granny dearest doesn't really do a lot, except make rather annoying noises, produce rather noxious smells and generally can't join in with the girl's favourite games. But when she asks granny what she used to do when she was young, a vast riotous explosion of ideas comes from Granny.

Of course, I'd mapped all this out as being a massive selling children's book not realising that the core theme had already been done about a billion times better than I could possibly have managed in Old Dog, by the unstoppable picture book team of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross.

Change the sexes, and you've got a young pup moaning about visiting his grandpa (who doesn't do a lot, smells a bit, you get the picture) but when Grandad is asked about new tricks, boy can he perform!

It's a real heartwarming winner this - once again as I've said countless times before on this blog, Willis and Ross really can't seem to put a foot wrong. Old Dog is definitely worth reading to your little ones next time they groan about visiting their grandparents (or great grandparents). Thankfully Charlotte loves all her grandparents to bits and absolutely loves playing with all of them. The moral of this review is "If you think you've had a good idea for a kid's book, tough cheddar, Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross have probably already trumped your best efforts by a country mile!

Charlotte's best bit: Grandad Dog's photos of his younger days

Daddy's favourite bit: Grandad Dog's tireless energy once he realises he is still a star

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars