I love a quirky read, we’ve just enjoyed reading the rather excellent Dog on Stilts by James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon published by Digital Leaf. Joss has just moved on from heavy cardboard picture books and will sit for a long time if a story catches her attention, as indeed Dog on Stilts certainly did! (nb. we don’t always have a penguin balloon watching over us when we read!)
This gorgeous hardbacked book is beautifully illustrated, and interactive too, with pages both portrait and landscape and the colour ways are so unusual for a kids book that this is a standout on the shelf, and a real mad comic caper to boot. There’s something wonderfully tactile about turning the book around to read the curling whirling writing when sharing the story together! I was wary that some of the images might err a little on the dark side but Joss saw the fun in the story and didn’t seem perturbed!
Dog on Stilts tells the tale of Medium Dog, he has some issues with his confidence and comes up with a unique solution to help him ‘walk tall’ and sees him head on out through his neighbourhood getting into scrapes and having a not so great adventure. I do like a tale with a moral at the end, and Medium Dog with his everyday hair and medium shape learns an important lesson about true friendship, where real friends value the everyday us:
We think you’re dog wonderful just as you are
This is a book for all ages, you know you’re onto a good one when there’s the odd ‘joke’ for the parents to enjoy too, and there’s a bit where, OK, I won’t spoil the story for you, but there’s a grown up hoot out loud moment with a poodle that’s not to be missed!
This book doesn’t need stilts to walk tall!
– There’s an online musical version of the book and you can get a copy for yourself with the ISBN 9781909428058
Disclaimer: We received a free copy of this book for this review, all views are my own