Chris McKimmie has a knack of being able to capture the essence of a story with language and images that are simple yet also have an underlying complexity that goes beyond what is on the page. His latest picture book is no exception. In The New Dog we meet Kiddo. Kiddo is very happy with the two snuggly futon beds, the water and food bowls, the king size bed he shares with his humans and the box full of stuff that Teddy has left behind. From this very first page Chris McKimmie reveals another layer to the story and gives us a subtle insight into the reason Kiddo has become part of this family. Kiddo loves to chew, dig, play, bark and eat anything left lying around or within reach on the kitchen bench! He’s also afraid of storms, hates baths and loves lying in the warm patches of sunshine in his yard. All the things you would expect from a loveable canine. Chris’s illustrations are a joy with bright colours and a slightly imperfect perspective that children love and see reflected in their own artwork. There is also a little help from his family for some of the drawings which adds to the feeling of warmth and inclusion in the images. There are clever plays on text direction and font changes which add to the fun and involvement for the reader. This warm and engaging story is a must have for anyone who has ever lost a canine friend and then experienced the delight of welcoming a new, playful, mischievous and instantly loveable family companion.
Chris McKimmie is an award-winning writer, illustrator and artist whose book I NEED A Parrot, won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award in 2020. His stories are always quirky, eye catching and totally relatable for younger readers. The New Dog, aimed at readers aged 4 +, could almost be seen as a sequel to Me, Teddy, the story of the family’s beloved black Labrador, and would make a wonderful addition to any collection of animal stories.
This review can also be found online in BuzzWordsMagazine
Supporting teaching themes could include animals, dogs, loss of a pet, families, grief and stylized artwork.
Find out more about Chris McKimmie
Published by Ford Street Publishing
ISBN 9781922696038 (HB)
Highly recommended for ages 4 +
Sophie has to spend a lot of time in hospital. When her little sister visits, Sophie tells her lots of wonderful stories. There is one story that is her little sister’s favourite. It is about a very special place where they bounce off fluffy white clouds, get tickled by a long-armed feather duster, eat lots of fairy bread and even meet the Queen of Rainbows! They have star ball challenges and sip tea from golden cups made out of the sun. Sophie tells her little sister this is their special place, and that no matter what happens, she will always find her there.
IMAGINE OUR SPECIAL PLACE takes us on a journey of loss through the eyes of two young sisters but, rather than focus on the sadness, Kelly Louise Jarris concentrates on the warm and close relationship between the two, creating a story that is both comforting and uplifting. The text enables younger readers to connect with grief in a simple, age appropriate way and is beautifully supported by Sandunika Dissanayake’s rich, enchanting and colourful illustrations. IMAGINE OUR SPECIAL PLACE is a wonderful contribution to books about loss for children aged 3 to 5. Author interview to follow soon.
View the book trailer https://www.youtube.com/embed/c_ORbQCHdvA
Find out more about Kelly Louise Jarris
Published by InHousePublishing
ISBN 9781922717948 (PB)
Recommended for ages 3 - 5.
Thanks to Romi Sharp and Books On Tour PR & Marketing for access to the digital copy.
Follow Just Write For Kids Blog for more information on the campaign and special media features.
The Book Tree. © Kerry Gittins 2023. All Rights Reserved.