4 out of 4 stars
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Red and Blue are dogs who are the best of friends. They live together and work at a sheep station during the day. Even though they have identical appearances, Red is mischievous and adventurous, while Blue is the smart one. Each morning they wake up, shake and scratch, have biscuit and bread, and off they go to work. On this particular day, after completing the day’s work, they spotted a new shiny motorbike in a shed. Excitement got the better of them, and they immediately took it out for a ride. However, it is not long before Red and Blue realize borrowed items are only suited for the owner.
Mad Dogs by I.B. Gumnut is a fun and captivating children’s book. It has a colorful background and abstract pictures, which engage the senses. The pictures tell the story independently so that children as young as three years can still understand the book. The sentences are simple and fun with rhyming words and similes. For instance, the sentence ‘They hadn’t a clue, but they still stuck together like glue.’
The book has numerous lessons like the value of friendship through Red and Blue’s bond. It also teaches hard work and the right time to do things. In the book, the dogs first work for most of the day and then later take some downtime to play and relax. I think this lesson goes a long way in instilling the concept of discipline in children.
My favorite aspect of the read is the simplicity of the names the dog have. They not only give them identity but also teaches the specific colors and even their spellings. The dogs are also physically identical but with distinct personalities. There is nothing to dislike about the book; it includes various animals like sheep, kangaroo, emu, and a flock of galahs. These are all native to Australia, further reinforcing the story’s background.
The book’s editing is excellent; I did not find any grammatical or spelling errors. Mad Dogs is a fast read that has many elements and lessons attached to it. Its conclusion also makes it suitable as a bedtime story. It is fit for children between the ages of three and eight, and adults can also enjoy reading it to the young ones. I, therefore, award it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to parents and teachers looking for a fun story that also highlights elements of Australia’s wildlife.
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