My Dog, Hen / Ruffles and the Cosy, Cosy Bed

My Dog, Hen
David Mackintosh

Owning any dog brings big responsibilities but adopting one from a rescue centre, even one as adorable looking as Hen, is likely to bring challenges. However as the child narrator of this story says, ‘why should we get a brand new dog when Hen is as good as new to us?’ So back he goes to his new family.

Although family members provide everything they think Hen needs in the way of food, water, a cosy bed and plenty of toys to keep him amused, such is Hen’s appetite that not only does he consume all his food but goes on to eat his bowl, items of furnishings and more.

Let’s say he’s a tad destructive, even gobbling up a supposedly indestructible dog toy. Enough is enough say the child’s parents.

But then Gran comes to visit bringing something with her. Could this perhaps help headstrong Hen relax?

David Mackintosh mainly uses solid blocks of red, beige, blue and black etched with white lines and patterning to create his stylish and striking illustrations that are full of playful touches. I love the spread of socks that Gran has adorned with cross-stitch darning that help to underscore the make-do-and-mend environmental message.

Ruffles and the Cosy, Cosy Bed
David Melling
Nosy Crow

The adorably playful Ruffles returns as lively as ever, but with something new to dislike – loud noises. These make him all jumpy and jittery and his instinct is to run away. However loud noises at night are far worse especially if they are the thundery kind that bring flashes, bangs and crashes. Time to hide, thinks Ruffles but where?

It must be a quiet place that’s also safe and snuggly. Hmmm… suddenly the little dog thinks of the perfect place and it’s ready and waiting for him. Now where could that be? Assuredly it’s the ideal place to wait until the storm has abated.

Sometimes set against a vibrant colour, sometimes only black and white, it’s amazing how much David Melling manages to convey through his seemingly simple humorous illustrations of this little pup, especially in those sequential strips of Ruffles responding to the scary sounds when his body language and facial expressions speak far more that the accompanying words.

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