Ruby and Graham / This Old Dog

Ruby and Graham
Lucy Barnard
New Frontier Publishing

Playful party loving Ruby and organising expert, Graham, both live in Acorn Wood ensuring that it’s both a happy lively place and a beautiful one.

However, it’s Ruby who gets all the attention from the other woodland animals, so one afternoon Graham decides to change his ways and become more funky.

Such is the improvement in his popularity that he resolves to make the change permanent.

Now while it might be a good thing for Graham, the woodland rapidly becomes a messy, confused environment. Ruby approaches her fellow squirrel and an interesting discussion ensues wherein they each talk about their feelings of self-worth.

Can the two share their abilities to their mutual benefit, as well as for the betterment of the entire community? Working together is the way to go …

Lucy Barnard’s digital illustrations add humorous details to her textual narrative, making every spread a stopping point that offers much to enjoy and talk about with young listeners, particularly with the approach of autumn and winter.

This Old Dog
Martha Brockenbrough and Gabriel Alborozo
Levine Querido

This Old Dog is a heart-warming story about a dog that’s well past its prime (‘His bones are sore but his heart is strong’) and a small girl who loves him dearly.

From the moment the child is born, the pace of life in old dog’s family speeds up, but the creature ‘likes to take things slow.’ He’d yearned to have a friend for long, slow strolls, rolls in the grass and romps in the leaves.

Both little girl and the dog truly know how to live in the moment, make the most of their experiences and cherish their time together; and once the child takes to her feet she walks straight towards old dog. At last his wish is fulfilled: there’s grass smelling, hill rolling down and much more …

some of which make the pooch enormously excited.

Together they can discover (or rediscover) what a wonderful world it is, day after day …

Just as the girl and old dog were seemingly made for one another so too was the author/illustrator partnership between Martha Brockenbrough and Gabriel Alborozo. The slow, steady text skilfully mirrors old dog’s plodding, yawning demeanour so perfectly captured in the delicately lined ink and water colour illustrations; he’s a real personality this pooch, as is the adoring little girl, his total devotee and playmate.

Whether or not you’re a lover of dogs, you’ll definitely fall for this gorgeous book.