Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Shirley Hughes
Illustrator:   Shirley Hughes 
Picture Book And Audio CD
For ages 4 to 6
Red Fox, 2009   ISBN: 978-1862305939

Dave has a small stuffed toy dog called Dogger. With one ear up and one ear down, Dogger shares many of Dave's adventures, and the little boy is devoted to his toy, choosing to sleep with him – and only him – every night.

One day Dave goes with Mum, baby Joey, and Dogger to get his big sister Bella from school. In the evening Dave discovers that Dogger has disappeared. Mum, Dad, Bella, and Dave all look for Dogger but he is nowhere to be found. Not surprisingly Dave is heartbroken, and he misses his toy terribly.

The next day the family goes to the School Summer Fair. There are various stalls to look at, teas and drinks to buy, a fancy dress parade, races of all kinds, and a raffle drawing. Bella wins a large teddy bear and she is thrilled. Dave on the other hand cannot enjoy anything that much because he misses Dogger.

Then Dave sees something extraordinary. He sees Dogger sitting on the Toys Stall. Dogger is wearing a tag around his neck that says "5p." But Dave does not have five pence, he only has three. He needs help to get Dogger back.

This splendid title won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1977 and it is still as relevant and appealing today as it was when it first came out. Shirley Hughes tells her story cleanly and with sympathy, and a child who has lost a beloved toy will immediately be able to identity with Dave. Packed with warm and detailed illustrations, this is a title that children will want to read again and again.

For children who enjoy audio titles, a CD is included with this edition. The story is read by Kevin Whately, and there are two versions; one with page turning signals and one without.