My Friend Fred / Pip Finds a Home

My Friend Fred
Frances Watts and A. Yi
Allen & Unwin

An unseen narrator (mostly), dachshund Fred’s best friend tells of the doggy things he gets up to. He loves dog food (disgusting!), chasing balls, sniffing trees and digging holes.

However he doesn’t like stairs unlike his pal; he loves baths, (his friend hates them)

and Fred does some rather odd things like howling at the moon and turning around thrice before sleeping.

Youngsters will delight in guessing the nature of Fred’s best friend (there are some visual clues in A. Yi’s adorable watercolour illustrations) so may work it out before the final reveal. Whether or not they do, with its themes of friendship and difference this is an engaging book to share with your little ones.

Pip Finds a Home
Elena Topouzoglou
New Frontier Publishing

Due to a case of mistaken identity Pip undertakes a long journey to the South Pole for that’s where those that look like him live.

He’s met by four friendly Adélie penguins who want to know what kind of penguin Pip is.

They attempt to identify him but he doesn’t have feathers on his head like a Macaroni penguin, is too short to be an Emperor Penguin and lacks the orange beak of a Gentoo.

Perhaps he isn’t a penguin after all.

Nonetheless he’s made welcome by the Adélies until another black and white bird approaches and then Pip learns his real name.

It’s time to go home …

This simply told, beautifully illustrated in watercolours, tale of friendship, similarities and differences and belonging gently informs young listeners too; and the final three pages give additional facts about the four kinds of penguins and the species to which Pip belongs.