The Dotty Dalmatian by Anna Wilson
|The Dotty Dalmatian by Anna Wilson|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A great book for the emerging reader with more plot than most books for this age group. It's a book that's a keeper too.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: August 2012|
|Publisher: Macmillan's Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Mrs Fudge's hairdressing salon and pooch-pampering parlour is doing great business and it's obvious that she can't really cope with just Pippa Peppercorn's occasional help. She needs another assistant, but finding one proves to be more difficult than she expected. Pippa's quite pleased about this as she really doesn't want to be ousted as THE personal assistant. Then Minx Polka arrives on the doorstep and she seems to have a real affinity with dogs - Mrs Fudge jumps at the opportunity to employ her. Pippa's not pleased, but she has something else on her mind. Who owns the out-of-control Dalmatian who is terrorising the neighbourhood and causing quite a bit of damage too?
We first met Pippa in The Poodle Problem and I was very taken by her then. She's 10½ now (those halves are very important at that age) and she's developing a very definite personality. I love her because she really can be quite aggravating: she can be selfish, rude and disobedient in the way that children of that age can be but she's very loyal to her friends. She's real and she comes bounding off the page, long red plaits flying in the wind. Girls in the eight plus age group are going to love her.
It's a good story too with more of a plot than is common in books for this age group, although I must confess to being a little disappointed by the ending which moves into the realms of fantasy. That's a personal quibble and I doubt that young readers are going to be much worried about whether or not the situation really could be explained in this way.
It's a very good book for the emerging reader with chapters which are not too long and a vocabulary which is demanding but not beyond the likely abilities of girls in this age group. With its more-complex-than-usual plots it's likely to be a book which will get several re-readings and it lacks too many current cultural references which gives it staying power when it's passed on. It's the sort of book which we think is well worth buying.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more canine reading for the 8+ age group you might like to look at The Great Dog Disaster by Katie Davies - but we think The Dotty Dalmatian is better!
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