Mrs Dog, by Janeen Brian & Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

‘Leave it, Mrs Dog,’ called Tall One.
‘It’s too small and weak to live.’
But Mrs Dog carried the little Woolly-Head home to the Big Kennel.

Mrs Dog is getting too old to round up sheep, but when she finds a tiny orphaned lamb, she is determined to help him. She takes him home, keeps him warm and tries to teach him all that she knows. Baa-rah does his best to do the things Mrs Dog teaches him, and one day, when it is Mrs DOg who needs help, Baa-Rah saves the day.

Mrs Dog is an adorable picture book story about an unlikely friendship between a dog and a sheep, elderly and very young. Children will love not just the events of the story, but the use of language, with Mrs Dog’s terminology for sheep being Woolly-Heads, the humans called Tall Ones and so on. The illustrations, in soft colours and with loads of detail, capture farm life and the expressions of the animals. A wonderful touch is that while the humans do lend a helping hand, they are barely there in the illustrations, allowing the bond between animals to be highlighted.

A lovely picture book.

Mrs Dog, by Janeen Brian & Marjorie Crosby-Fairall
Five Mile, 2016
ISBN 9781760066451

The Croc and the Platypus, by Jackie Hosking & Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

The croc and the platypus trundled off
In a rusty Holden ute.
They took some damper and tea in a hamper
And bundled it up in the boot.

When the croc and platypus head outback in their dinky-di Aussie ute, they – and readers – are guaranteed an adventure.
Using the rhythm of Edward Lear’s The Owl and The Pussycat, The Croc and the Platypus offers an Australian version which takes in many iconic Aussie images – including the ute, Uluru, lamingtons and, of course, the animals.

This is a lively, humorous take on the original, though it isn’t necessary for children to know the Lear version in order to enjoy the fun of this new. The mismatched couple, the ochre and aqua landscapes and the fun of the word choices all make for loads of fun. Debut author Jackie Hosking makes rhyme look easy, and illustrator Marjorie Crosby-Fairall’s acrylic and pencil illustrations are a perfect complement.

Delightful fun for Aussies of all ages.


The Croc and the Platypus, by Jackie Hosking & Marjorie Crosby-Fairall
Walker Books, 2014
ISBN 9781922077608

You can see an interview with the author and illustrator here

Available from good bookstores and online.