My Dog Bigsy by Alison Lester, hardback picture book, published by Penguin Group in 2015.
Bigsy is an energetic dog that gets up early and runs about the farm visiting all of the animals and making a lot of noise.
My Dog Bigsy is one of my favourite Alison Lester books. It is a delightful and noisy romp about the farm. Bigsy disturbs the cockatoos, Squawk!, chases the sheep, Baa! and says hello to the cat, Flip! Flap! What a loud way to start the day! This is a great story to introduce and have fun with the sounds of different words. My toddlers particularly like it when Bigsy slurps his water and crunches his breakfast.
The illustrations on every page are simple, bold and cute. I like that the background grass and bedspread appear to have been made using some fabric. Bigsy is a pretty cute dog, though Patchy Pig and her piglets are my favourite with their mud splattered tummies.
My Dog Bigsy is suitable for toddlers, preschoolers and lower primary school children. It is best read out loud to make the most of all the sounds that can be heard on the farm.
* My Dog Bigsy is shortlisted for the 2016 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Early Childhood Book category.
Banjo and Ruby Red by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood, hardback picture book, published by Little Hare Books in 2013.
Banjo is a chook dog. It is his job to round up the chooks and get them into their pen to be shut in for the night. He barks and chickens come from all over, except Ruby Red, who sits on the wood heap and ignores Banjo. When Ruby Red falls ill, Banjo finds her and cares for her during her recovery.
Gorgeously illustrated, this story of a wayward and head strong chook and her diligent round-up dog, is both moving and funny. I liked the barking and the squarking, with chooks flying everywhere, it reminded me of the chook yard my grandparents had when I was a child. My preschooler liked that Ruby Red ignores Banjo until he topples the wood pile, this made her laugh. I think she saw herself in Ruby Red, stubborn and resistant til the last! My second grader liked Banjo, and how he cared for Ruby Red when she was sick, even though she had antagonised him in the past. Friendship and love can conquer all.
Banjo and Ruby Red is a lovely book for sharing with preschoolers and lower primary school children, and a must have for primary school libraries!
* Banjo and Ruby Red was an honour book for the 2014 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Early Childhood category.