Sunday 20 March 2022

Dogs in Disguise

Dogs in Disguise by Peter Bently, illustrated by John Bond (HarperCollins Publishers) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9780008469146

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

‘Dogs come in all kinds of colours and sizes, but when no one’s looking they put on disguises.’ Wherever dogs are not allowed to go, you’ll find pooches dressed up to deceive. A pug in a tuxedo enjoys a meal at a cafĂ©, while Charlene the shih tzu is a champ at jujitsu. Adult dogs teach pups how to use clothes as camouflage, but the youngsters don’t always pick the right costume – ‘of all dog disguises, a tree is the worst … unless you tell all the other dogs first!’

Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning author Peter Bently has crafted a rambunctious rhyming story that rolls off the tongue with ease. Cute and clever couplets leash together novel vocab combinations, such as ‘trousers’ and ‘schnauzers. Kids aged three and older will howl with laughter as the dogs’ disguises become more and more daring.

John Bond’s vibrant illustrations leap off the spreads like an overexcited terrier. Young eyes will delight in the riotous details, from the dog wearing shoes on its head to the MGM logo that looks more Labrador than lion. Each canine character reveals its own unique personality as it paddles, pees or parades across the pages.

A joyful ode to being observant, Dogs in Disguise is sure to be read time and time again. The witty words and vivid visuals are a perfect match, much like Sadie the setter and her gorgeous green sweater.

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