Selby Sprung, by Duncan Ball

How many adventures can one little dog have? Lots, especially if that dog is Selby the talking dog, back in this the sixteenth Selby book. This time Selby falls out of a plane, almost gets eaten by a savage Shark Man on death Island, and has to stop a runaway train.

I want to warn you that something terrible happens, and you’ll see when you get to the end. I’m not dead or anything, so don’t worry, but after all these years and so many close calls about keeping it a secret that I know ho to talk –
I better not tell you any more or I’ll spoil it.

How many adventures can one little dog have? Lots, especially if that dog is Selby the talking dog, back in this the sixteenth Selby book. This time Selby falls out of a plane, almost gets eaten by a savage Shark Man on death Island, and has to stop a runaway train. But, worst of all, he is being pursued by the Evil Genius Morrie Artie, who is desperately combing Australia to prove that the talking dog really exists – and to use him in all sorts of ways. Is Selby’s secret about to be revealed to the world?

Selby Sprung offers all the fun and adventure that young readers have come to expect from the series, with humorous adventures, twists and turns and all round silliness. Illustrations (by Allan Stomann) scattered throughout the book add visual appeal, and some chapters are written in diary format by Selby himself.

As with previous titles, this one stands alone, but will encourage readers new to the series to seek the others out.

Doggone good stuff.

Selby Sprung

Selby Sprung, by Duncan Ball
Angus & Robertson, 2011
ISBN 0780732292638

This book is available from good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Selby Santa, by Duncan Ball

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

Selby is back in another series of crazy adventures centred on Christmas, as Selby sets out to prove the existence of Santa Claus. In this book, the fifteenth in the Selby series, Selby again gets himself in and back out of a number of scrapes and awkward situations, especially when he tries to stand in for Santa in a flying sleigh invented by Dr Trifle. During his escapades Selby meets some interesting characters, one of whom is inspired after meeting Selby to write a series about Blake Romano and his secret agent dog.

I particularly liked the story of Selby making Christmas ‘pressies’ for the Trifles and the way even when Selby gets things wrong, it somehow works out right. Selby’s insights into people are priceless, like Aunt Jetty who he describes as having, ‘the feelings of a flea.’

The quirky situations, word play and humour make these stories a joy to read. The collection includes a play and a couple of Selby’s poems. This is a book children will pick up and chuckle over time and time again. I know my grandson will. He started with his father reading him ‘Selby Shattered.’ In the end he couldn’t wait for Dad to get around to reading the next chapter, so started reading it himself. Though at least a couple of years under the age group these books are intended for, he was so captivated by this talking dog and his antics that he has read several Selby books since. They are his favourite chapter books.

I can’t wait see his face when he receives Selby Santa at Christmas. I’m sure he’ll be delighted with this new addition, which includes some of the usual characters like Selby’s owners, Dr and Mrs Trifle and Garry Gaggs as well as the usual inclusion of Paw notes that refer readers to stories from other Selby books. Selby Santa also includes 15 Christmas stickers. The book is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.

Selby Santa by Duncan Ball
Published by Angus&Robertson – an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, Australia
Paperback 175 pages
RRP $12.99
Published November 2007
ISBN 9780732286798
suitable for ages 7 and up

Selby's Shemozzle, by Duncan Ball

Selby stopped in his tracks. ‘That is so incredibly funny,’ he thought in the split second before he started laughing uncontrollably. He doubled up and fell to the ground, pounding his paws in the dirt. ‘That is sooooooooo funny!’

Selby is back with more side splitting adventures and more shemozzles than one dog could expect in a lifetime. There are fourteen stories all featuring the world’s only talking dog as he gets covered in chocolate, turned invisible, wins the lottery and much more.

As always, Selby’s stories are recounted with the level of clever wit readers have come to expect from the loveable Selby. This is the thirteenth Selby title and marks the 20th anniversary of Selby’s adventures, which makes him one long-living dog.

Kids love Selby, and Selby’s Shemozzle is sure to please.

Selby’s Shemozzle, by Duncan Ball
Harper Collins, 2005

Selby's Selection, by Duncan Ball

A talking dog? Of course there is no such thing – no one you know has ever met one. Or is it, perhaps, that one exists, too cunning to let his secret slip?

Selby is Australia’s most famous dog, yet no one knows his true identity. After he cleverly taught himself to talk, he realised that a talking dog wouldn’t’ get much privacy -–scientists would want to study him, his owners would want him to run errands, and everything would be different. So Selby keeps his identity a secret, sharing his experiences with the children of Australia through the Selby series of books.

Each of the nine previous books shares tales of Selby’s exploits as he leads a double life and gets into some hilarious scrapes. Now in Selby’s Selection he shares the best of his previous adventures, interspersed with some special treats” Selby’s favorite jokes, funny poems and songs, as well as profiles of Selby’s human friends and more.

Long time Selby fans will love this collection and newcomers will find this alluring enough to seek out the rest of the series.

Duncan Ball has won numerous awards and accolades for the Selby books, as well as for his many other books for children and adults, including the Emily Eyefinger series about the girl with an eye on the end of her finger. The Selby books have been published overseas.

For more information, visit Selby at his web site.

Selby’s Selection, by Duncan Ball
Angus & Robertson, 2001.

A Taste

On opening night a full house watched in silence as the Stage Stompers performed the first act of The Enchanted Dog and Selby waited behind the rock for his big moment. The magic of the play began to bring out the actor in him and he felt his heart throb when Postie Paterson gagged on the enchanted pawpaw and staggered towards him.

Not waiting to be pushed, Selby leaped out from behind the rock as soon as Postie fell behind it. He jumped into the spotlight and stood there on his hind legs, turning from side to side so the audience could get a look at him.

‘This is wonderful!’ Selby thought…