Scarface Claw, Hold Tight! by Lynley Dodd

Sunning himself
as he settled each paw
was lazy old sleepyhead,
Scarface Claw.

It’s a peaceful, sunnny morning, and Scarface Claw has settled down for a rest. But with a sudden shudder and sway his resting place – Tom’s van – is hurrying away, down the driveway and along the highway, with Scarface clinging on to the roof. om is so intent on getting where he needs to be that he doesn’t notice the efforts of boys on a school bus, or Peter the plumber, or any of the townspeople. It is up to Constable Chrissie, with her sirens and light to put a stop to the van, and get the cat home.

Scarface Claw Hold Tight! is a wonderful new addition tot he Hairy Maclary and Friends series. As with other stories, the adventure stands alone, though fans will be delighted to see favourite characters, including the tough cat Scarface Claw, Tom and even Miss Plum all feature.

Text is in rhyming verse which scans welll and withstands the repeated readings which chidlren will demand, and the illustrations featuring the detailed water colour and ink outlines which Dodd does so well.


Scarface Claw Hold Tight! by Lynley Dodd
Pufin Imprint, Penguin Books, 2017
ISBN 9780143770985

Hairy MacLary, Shoo, by Lynley Dodd

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe


In the world of children’s books, no-one writes and illustrates the rhyming picture books better than Lynley Dodd with her Hairy Maclary series. Her use of language and rhyme is impeccable. She is wonderful for introducing young listeners and readers to new words. Her books are fun and Hairy Maclary and friends are cute dogs who get into lots of scrapes. In that, Hairy Maclary, Shoo is no exception.

I remember giving this to one of my grandchildren in hardcover. All my grandchildren loved hearing and then reading the Hairy Maclary books. They have several.

This latest edition of Hairy Maclary, Shoo is a board book version for those tiny fingers that cannot quite be trusted with the real thing. I have to admit I am not a fan of board books and never have been. I never bought them for my own children and refuse to buy them for my grandchildren, preferring to teach them the right way to handle books from a young age by using proper books. However if you like board books or your children or grandchildren cannot be trusted to care for books, then the board book version of Hairy Maclary, Shoowill be a welcome addition.

Hairy Maclary, Shoo has all the wit and charm of other Hairy Maclary books as Hairy Maclary’s curiosity gets him into one scrape after another and sees him ending up at Magnolia School. This is another gem from Lynley Dodd with the usual expressive illustrations. Great fun.

Hairy Maclary, Shoo By Lynley Dodd
ABC for Kids, 2011
HarperCollins Publishers
Board book RRP $14.99

This book is available in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.

Hairy Maclary, Shoo, by Lynley Dodd

STOP this shemozzle,
this hullabaloo!

Hairy Maclary is enjoying some quiet time with his friends until a delivery van pulls up – and the van door is left often for a moment. Soon Hairy Maclary finds himself far from home, exploring shops, schools and gardens, creating chaos wherever he goes. All he wants is for someone to show him the way home – and, lucky for him, he is found by Miss Plum.

Fans young and old of Hairy Maclary will be delighted to see him in yet another of his trademark adventures, getting into mischief even without trying. As always Lynley Dodd’s rhyming text is seamless, rolling off the tongue, a pleasure both to read and to listen to. Her illustrations, too, bring Hairy to life . Hairy Maclary, Shoo is a treasure.

Hairy Maclary Shoo

Hairy Maclary, Shoo, by Lynley Dodd
ABC books, 2009

this book can be purchased online from Fishpond. buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

The Smallest Turtle, by Lynley Dodd

He blinked at the brightness
and inside his head he heard strange words,
‘To the sea, to the sea.’

The smallest turtle is the last one to hatch from his egg and, when he does, all of his brothers and sisters are gone. Emerging from the sand, the turtle follows the call of the sea as he struggles to overcome the weather, the landscape and predators to make it to the sea.

The Smallest Turtle is a new edition of author/illustrator Lynley Dodd’s earlier works. Although it is not written in the rhyme which Dodd is so well known for, her prose has a lyrical quality, with the use of the refrain ‘To the sea, to the sea’ adding to the poetic feel. The illustrations feature the green and sandy yellows of the seashore, and give the turtle endearing facial expressions, chiefly through a pair of adorable eyes in largely real life styled body.

This is a beautiful picture book story which would have classroom relevance.

The Smallest Turtle, by Lynley Dodd
This edition, ABC Books, 2008

Three Books by Lynley Dodd

The writing and illustrative talents of Lynley Dodd seem to be as popular with Australian youngsters as they are in her native New Zealand (and, indeed, all around the world). ABC books have released new editions of three of Dodd’s books, sure to be well received.

New in board book format, Scarface Claw shows this tough cat’s refusal to be frightened of anything – not dogs, or fire engines or spiders. There is only one thing that scares Scarface Claw – and that, as young readers will be delighted to find out, is his own reflection.

Also in board book, Schnitzel von Krumm Forget-Me-Not shows what happens when this cute dachshund’s family forget to take him on holiday.

Finally, in hard cover format, one of Dodd’s older works, The Nickle Nackle Tree (first released in 1976) is back in print. This one will be less familiar than the others, but is a wonderfully whimsical counting book, with odd birds of all sizes and colours perching in the branches of this mythical tree.

All three books will appeal to preschoolers (and their parents).

Scarface Claw, Schnitzel von Krumm Forget-me-Not and The Nickle Nackle Tree
All written and illustrated by Lynley Dodd
These Editions, ABC Books, 2007

Slinky Malinki's Christmas Crackers, by Lynley Dodd

brilliantly bright,
the tree was a truly
someone was waiting
to meddle and play,
to get up to tricks
in his usual way.

Slinky Malinki is surely one of the world’s best loved cats – certainly amongst those adults and children who have been fortunate to meet him in Lynley Dodd’s picture books. Christmas Crackers sees Slinky pitted against a Christmas tree. He waits till the family has finished decorating then creeps out to explore – with hilarious results.

Dodd has a brilliant way of blending the rhyme and rhythm of her stories with delightful illustrations, filled with detail. They are fun for adults to read aloud, and children just adore listening to them.

This is a real Christmas treat.

Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers, by Lynley Dodd
ABC Books, 2006

Slinky Malinki Catflaps & Schnitzel von Krumm's Basketwork, by Lynley Dodd

He liked all the tatters
he liked every tear,
the broken down edges,
the holes and the hair.
the smell was so friendly
and as for the fit –
if he needed to squeeze,
did he mind?
Not a bit.

Little kids love the stories of Hairy Maclary and his friends Scnitzel von Krumm and Slinky Malinki, and what better way to enjoy those stories than in a sturdy board book format just right for reading over and over again?

ABC Books have just released two board book editions of the lively works of Lynley Dodd – Schnitzel von Krumm’s Basketwork and Slinky Malinki Catflaps. Each story in rhyme features the gorgeous artwork and fun stories for which Dodd is famous. In Basketwork, Schnitzel is devastated when his family throw out his old basket. Nothing is as comfortable as that basket, and Schnitzel pines for it, as he searches desperately for a replacement. In Catflaps Slinky sneaks out for a late night get together with his feline friends, but when their get together is interrupted, Slinky takes his friends home for a nap by the fire.

Nobody combines rhyme with gorgeous animal illustration in quite the same way Lynley Dodd does, and it is wonderful to see these two favourites repackaged in boardbook editions.


Schnitzel von Krumm’s Basketwork and Slinky Malinki Catflaps, both by Lynley Dodd
These editions, 2006

The Other Ark, by Lynley Dodd

Enough!’ thundered Noah. He bolted the door.
‘This Ark is JAM PACKED!’ he said, but…there were more.
He studied the view of the animal queue and called to a friend of his, Sam Jam Balu.
‘Sam,’ he said kindly, ‘you’ve nothing to do and I really need help with this two-by-two zoo. My problems are solved if you’re quick off the mark – you can take all the rest in my second-best Ark.’

When there is no more room in the ark, Noah calls on his friend Sam to take the rest on another ark. While Noah sails off with his regular animals, Sam begins to load his ark with the animals too exotic to join Noah. And exotic is almost too moderate a word – there are camels with candy-stripes and four humps, mad kangaroosters, flying flapdoodles and blunderbuss dragons.

Sam works hard to accomodate this motley assortment on the second ark but, in the end, takes so long, that the ark is firmly stuck because the floods have already receded.

The Other Ark is a colourful rhyming tale which will appeal to young fans of the talented Lynley Dodd. Although the story is not perhaps as well-constructed as Dodd’s other works – especially the lovable Hairy Maclary titles – the illustrations and simply ridiculous nature of the various beasts being loaded onto the ark ensure that it will be a hit with littlies.

A fun fantasy.

The Other Ark, by Lynley Dodd
ABC Books, 2004

Two Hairy Maclary Titles, by Lynley Dodd

There are few dogs more loved in children’s literature than Hairy Maclary. For years they have been read aloud by parents, grandparents and teachers, made into a television series for littlies and generally enjoyed. Now ABC Books has released two beautiful titles in board book format.

In Hairy Maclary, Sit, Hairy and his friends are attending obedience classes in the park. Hairy, however, is feeling “breezily bad, jittery, skittery, mischievous, mad.” When the leader tells him to sit, he scampers away instead. As he chases two ducks he is joined by more and more of the obedience-class escapees – Bottomley Potts, Muffin McLay, Hercules Morse, Nitzer Maloney – in fact all of the dogs who make regular appearances in Dodd’s stories.

In Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack, Hairy Maclary meets a mischeivous duckling who wants to play. Hairy isn’t so sure, and tries to hide from the yellow intruder, until he finds himself in a bind that Zachary can help him out of.

Both stories ooze appeal and readability. Dodd’s whimsical use of words and rhyme, coupled with her bright, joy-filled illustrations make these titles that parents will love to read and chidlren will love to listen to. The board-book format makes them sturdy, which is great – because these are books which will be read again and again for a long time to come.

Hairy Maclary, Sit and Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack, both by Lynley Dodd
ABC Books, 2003