Doctorsaurus / It’s So Quiet (A Not-Quite-Going-To-Bed Book)

Doctorsaurus
Emi-Lou May and Leire Martín
Little Tiger

When Doctorsaurus is summoned to the aid of young Triceratops after a chasing accident, little does the Doc. know that it’s not just a broken horn she’ll need to treat when she arrives at the their picnic spot. Stegosaurus has a septic toe;

T-Rex is suffering from an allergic attack and is all stuffed up and as for Brontosaurus, a blocked belly is the problem there and Doctorsaurus has just the thing – a dose of prunes.

Having done the needful, Doctorsaurus receives an invitation to stay and partake of the picnic and while they’re all tucking in there comes an earth moving rumble from a certain direction. Those prunes have worked rather more effectively than anticipated.
Oh the relief!

Time for a boogie, with some special guests to join the party …

Dinosaurs never fail to amuse little ones and I have no doubt Emi-Lou May’s rollicking, prehistoric picnic flavoured with poo – another of youngsters’ favourite topics – will hit the mark in story time sessions.

Leire Martín’s dinosaur depictions are a comedic delight – suitably silly and hugely expressive.

It’s So Quiet (A Not-Quite-Going-To-Bed Book)
Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tony Fucile
Chronicle Books

Subtitled A Not-Quite-Going-To-Bed Book, this could equally be dubbed ‘A Not-Quiet-Going-To-Bed Book for as soon as sleepy mama mouse has turned off the light and instructed her little (very sleepless) one to settle down, listen and allow the ‘small sweet sound of nighttime’ to whisper her offspring to slumberland, than a veritable outdoor symphony ensues. It begins relatively softly with the ‘crrr-oak’ of the bullfrog singing, the crickets chirp chirping and the dog’s tail tip-tapping. But this is soon joined by a veritable gamut of increasingly loud sounds both natural and otherwise causing the little mouse to get up, open the window and investigate.

As it reaches its crescendo, the, by this time sleep-deprived little mouse, gets out of bed again, re-opens the window and yells.

Peace is finally restored or … is it?

Guided by the increasing size of the print, little humans will relish joining in enthusiastically with all the onomatopoeic sound effects, as an equally enthusiastic adult sharer reads the rhyming narrative and shows the energetic nocturnal scenes.

Poor Louie / Raymond

Poor Louie
Tony Fucile
Walker Books
Louie the Chihuahua narrator of this story leads a life of contented predictability with Mum and Dad until things start to change. Mum still meets up with friends, which was fine but now there are other small creatures at those get-togethers, meaning Louie is no longer the centre of attention.

Then Mum’s tummy gets visibly larger … and larger …

Lots of new things are delivered; but why two beds, two carriers, two sets of clothes and a double buggy. The prospect of two ‘of those creatures’ is just too much for Louie: he waits for an opportunity, grabs his belongings and attempts a runaway. It’s thwarted by a well-intentioned neighbour however and Louie feels his life is over.

You can close the book now” he tells readers.
We don’t of course, for that is not the end of the story …
Dry humour, a restricted colour palette which gives the whole thing a subtle air of retro sophistication, constantly changing and sometimes, unusual perspectives, and some laugh-out-loud spreads make the whole thing a delight from cover to cover. Fucile’s delicious comedy will appeal to dog lovers and families adjusting to a new sibling in particular; but neither of those are applicable to this reviewer who loved it nonetheless.
Here’s another tale of a canine accustomed to leading a pampered pooch life:

Raymond
Yann and Gwendal Le Bec
Walker Books
Meet Raymond, used to having his own special spot by the sofa, scratchings behind the ears in ‘just the right place’ and a surprise birthday party every year. What more could a canine want? If you’re Raymond, a considerable amount it appears and thus commences his being more like a human behaviour. Sitting at the table for meals; ‘cappuccino-and-cupcake Saturdays at the café and cinema trips’ become part and parcel of his life. but Raymond is not alone; seemingly the whole doggy world wants to act human.
Raymond’s four-footed gait becomes two and naturally the world now looks very different. Big thoughts invade his head and before you can say DOGUE, Raymond has landed himself a job as rover-ing reporter on the up-market magazine and spends all hours working to meet deadlines.

Soon though, Raymond embarks on a new role: he becomes newscaster on the TV channel, Dog News. Eventually however, an excess of pampered fame means that he’s in dire need of a break away from it all. Could it be that the canine celebrity is about to undergo a light-bulb moment …

This funny, ‘be careful what you wish for’,‘ don’t bite off more than you can chew’ tale, with its New York setting, will resonate with adults as much as children, or perhaps more. The trouble is though, it’s not necessarily all that easy to step off that workaholic, achievement treadmill, which seems always to be driving us onwards towards greater heights …
There’s plenty to make readers – be they or be they not dog lovers – smile in the comic style scenes of a life as a top dog.

I’ve signed the charter