Get Real, Mallory!

Get Real, Mallory!
Daisy Hirst
Walker Books

Nomi loves drawing; her Dad makes positive comments about her dog depiction but her brother Stephen makes fun of her Mallory picture. “…why is your bear in the sky? … You’re better at drawing fish” he comments. However with a fish tank on the kitchen counter top that’s no surprise; if Nomi had a real dog, it would make dog drawing much easier, so she thinks. But nobody in their flats is allowed a dog so “HA! Get real, Nomi” is Stephen’s response.

That evening in frustration, Nomi scrunches up her picture and tosses it aside. Mallory’s smile don’t make the dog special; “Get real, Mallory!” she says. And Mallory does just that.

Somewhat conflicted: ‘I wanted to tell everyone. I didn’t want anyone to know.’ Nomi suggests heading to the park, which happens to be where her brother is going.

Dogs are banned from the playground but ever resourceful, Nomi provides Mallory with a disguise and adds occasional barks to his. No matter her brother ignores her, a wealth of opportunities keep the pair happily engaged for a long while,

until hunger pangs eventually cause her to head homewards.

What of Mallory come bedtime? Happily he’s not too far away …

Daisy Hirst has a great ear and eye for detail. With Nomi as narrator, her text is a delight read aloud and her images of the child and her imaginary dog capture the togetherness of the two with panache. There is SO much to enjoy about this book, especially the way it celebrates the power of the imagination.

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