Aussie Dog, by Eleanor Nilsson

It was June, cold and dry.
Sophie couldn’t wait a minute longer.
‘Mum, I know what I want for Christmas. I only want one thing.

Sophie is absolutely certain that she only wants one thing for Christmas. And birthday too, if necessary. A puppy. And she knows just exactly what sort of puppy she wants. She has their life together mapped out. But life doesn’t always deliver what we think we most want. And that’s certainly the case here. Boris is nothing like the dog she’s researched, prepared for and even named. But it’s Boris who has come to stay while her owner is out of action. And Boris is almost the exact opposite of the dog she must have. She’s going to have to work hard to get the dog she wants. Coloured illustrations on every page add humour and break up the text into achievable bites. (he-he) A header and footer suggest the great Australian backyard.

Aussie Dogis a new title in the Omnibus Books series of Australian tales for newly independent readers. Text type varies and highlights words that may provide extra challenge, or perhaps just need emphasis. Sophie is every child who has ever wanted a dog. She’s done her research and she’s sure her fairy tale dog exists and is just waiting for Sophie to discover. There is a gentle suggestion that what we want is not always what we get, but that it can be even better. But it’s subtle. Aussie Dog, like other offerings in this series, has a laugh a page as a child’s imagining is brought to life. Although Sophie seems totally single-minded, she is an open, good-natured and helpful sister, daughter, friend. Recommended for children transitioning from picture books to longer texts, and older children needing an accessible read.

Aussie Dog (Mates)

Aussie Dog , Eleanor Nilsson, Beth Norling
Omnibus Books 2011
ISBN: 9781862918689

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased from good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.