1 out of 4 stars
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Lewin, the rescue dog, has an interesting affliction. He thinks he’s human! The Ordinary Extraordinary Dog follows Lewin on his daily routine. This allows the reader to truly comprehend just how un-doggish he is. Without the occasional slip-up of real dog behaviour, and without his perfectly dog-like looks, it would be very difficult to tell Lewin apart from an actual human being. Waking up to a cornflake breakfast, going to school, and playing cricket with his friends are some of the things that Lewin loves doing. These are the things that make it hard to tell whether he is, in fact, a dog or a human.
The premise of this book is very sweet. It is based on the author’s real dog, and there are ideas and thoughts derived directly from Lewin’s life. As a children’s book, it has the ability to poke fun at Lewin pretending to be a real human. I believe that children would love it even more because the whole principle is rather silly! Children tend to enjoy ideas that are somewhat illogical, and this book falls firmly into that category.
Andrew Sherriff, the author, also happens to be the illustrator. Sherriff has created some great paintings that go well with the text. They are colourful enough to keep the book entertaining, and they are realistic enough to understand exactly what is going on in them.
Unfortunately, the illustrations aren’t strong enough to carry the text. With 12 pages of writing containing only about two or three sentences per page, this book still needs extensive editing. The most obvious problem is the lack of commas. Without too much text to wade through, I can say that most of the sentences in this book are run-on sentences. An example of this is, “His favourite was cornflakes but he would sometimes forget to use a spoon and go back to being a dog and stuff his nose in the bowl.” This is very disappointing for a book with such little narrative.
The most information that I got about the book was in the Amazon blurb. It was there that I found out that Sherriff painted his own pictures and that Lewin was a shelter dog. The PDF format that I received had no front or back cover, nor did it have any information on the book – not even publishing information. As a result of this, I believe the version I read was a contraction of the real book. In other words, I think it’s unfinished.
I toggled between a rating of one and two stars. The only reason that I would give this book more than one star is because I might recommend it for children who can’t read yet. However, that is not the purpose of a children’s book. In good conscience, I cannot recommend The Ordinary Extraordinary Dog to anyone without a solid proofread and without a more finished feel. For those reasons, I have landed on a rating of 1 out of 4 stars. The illustrations and the charming premise don’t make up for the absolutely dismal text. The best thing, however, is that this book has four-star potential – and I honestly hope that the author gets it there!
The Ordinary Extraordinary Dog
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