Flyn hung upside down from the oak tree, with his limbs wrapped tightly around a branch. He held his breath and carefully turned his head so he could scan the park. The boys were standing directly below him. Flyn could have dropped an acorn down Toby Downer’s collar. But that was the last thing Flyn wanted to do.
He just wanted to get to school without a fight.
Flyn is not having fun. His route to school involves passing the school bullies and they delight in tormenting him. What he needs is a big, tough dog to do all the things he can’t. Then the bullies would leave him alone. Enter Pop Hooper and his amazing collection of pets. On the side of each wagon, Pop Hooper’s Pet Express promises ‘Perfect Pets Guaranteed’. Flyn stops running away from the bullies and chases after Pop Hooper. He knows exactly the sort of dog he needs, a dog called ‘Chomper’ who will be brave where Flyn is not.
Funny Little Dog is the second title in the ‘Pop Hooper’s Perfect Pets’ series from Little Hare. The magical Pop Hooper seems to appear where he is needed, with the perfect pet. But he can’t find the pet Flyn describes so asks him to look after Pumpkin. Pumpkin has none of the attributes Flyn is sure he will need, and lots of characteristics sure to make his life worse. Poor Flyn! But Pumpkin allows Flyn’s nature to shine through his anxieties. Although it is Pop Hooper who chooses Pumpkin for Flyn, it is the boy who shows his true character and ample reserves of bravery when necessary. Funny Little Dog is a lovely mix of humour and seriousness, complemented by Heath McKenzie’s black and white illustrations on most openings. Recommended for newly confident readers ready for a slightly longer story.
Funny Little Dog (Pop Hooper’s Perfect Pets), Kyle Mewburn ill Heath McKenzie
Little Hare 2009
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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