Mr Dog and a Deer Friend
Ben Fogle and Steve Cole, illustrated by Nikolas Ilic
Harper Collins Children’s Books
This is the latest story in the deservedly popular Mr Dog young fiction series by explorer and TV presenter Ben Fogle, co-written with Steve Cole.
It begins early one chilly morning with Mr Dog hearing a distant cry for help. Having emerged from his tree stump shelter, the animal rescuer extraordinaire follows his nose and discovers that the source of the cry is a young fawn stuck in a frozen lake. Having extricated the little creature from the water and warmed her up a tad, Mr Dog learns that the fallow deer fawn – Bobbin by name and with an odd way of walking – was looking for her missing mother and in so doing decided to risk a short cut across the ice.
Immediately Mr Dog offers to help in the search and off they go into the forest estate to find Betty, the deer with three legs. Soon they come upon some aggressive deer fighting over food and one tells them that the lord of the manor has got rid of ‘the one with three legs.’
What has really happened to her? Can Mr Dog discover the answer and keep them all safe as well?
As readers of the series know, you can always count on Mr Dog if an animal is in trouble …
Scattered throughout with deer facts and puns (plus the occasional D- O- G acronym), the story – inspired by Ben Fogle’s own experience – is gently humorous and just right for new solo readers, especially those who like an environmental strand to a tale. Nikolas Ilic’s black and white illustrations add to the pleasure of reading and help to break up the text for less confident readers.