Tuesday 9 June 2020

Evie and Pog

Evie and Pog by Tania McCartney (HarperCollins Australia) PB RRP $12.99 ISBN 9781460757956

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Tanya McCartney’s latest book is joyful and enchanting. 

In three short stories, each of which have chapters, the stories tell the adventures of six-year-old Evie and her pet dog, Pog. Illustrated on every page, the first story, ‘Book Parade’ starts with Evie and Pog in their tree-house home (with its own slide) which is situated near Evie’s Granny Gladys. Teacher Miss Footlights announces there will soon be a book parade, the biggest ever! Pog is distressed because puppies are going to take part in the celebrations, and he is used to winning the best dressed dog award every year (he’s been the only contestant). Of course, in the end Pog’s competition doesn’t win because there is a pleasant surprise that makes everyone happy.

The other two stories in the book (‘Art Show’ and ‘Party Time’) are like the first – treading on ground that’s safe and familiar for young readers.

There is much in this book to make it appeal to all children, starting with a double-page map of the tree-house at the start of the book (which I loved in a book when I was a child). Every page is illustrated with cheerful, zany black and white pictures and different, well-spaced text types. There is a lot of slapstick humour and non-stop action with nicely rounded, somewhat eccentric characters. My only criticism is that the publishers should have -- and could have -- used a better quality paper.

McCartney’s latest book series is sure to appeal to reader’s imaginations. She is on a winner here as the books, with their short, humorous chapters, are an ideal steppingstone between picture books and longer chapter books. Highly recommended.

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