Wednesday 26 April 2023

Toodle The Cavoodle Whoops-a-diddle

Toodle The Cavoodle Whoops-a-diddle by Richard Tulloch & Heidi Cooper-Smith (Big Sky Publishing) PB HB RRP $24.99 9781922896018 

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Richard Tulloch is one of Australia’s great story tellers, and popular writer of children’s books, plays and television for young audiences. He is an actor and director. His television credits include Playschool and 150 episodes of Bananas in Pyjamas. He lives in Sydney and spends part of each year in his hometown of Amsterdam.

Toodle the Cavoodle is based upon an original character and concept created and developed by Maree Kirkland-Morris and Lyndi Adler. Toodle is now a character in a picture book series.

Toodle lives in Lillipilly Lane where everybody knows and loves him. Helping people is what he loves to do but when things go wrong Toodle skedaddles away with his tail between his legs and becomes trapped. Will everybody have the street party without him, or will he be found?

Once again, Tulloch has written a clever rhyming story about Toodle, full of rich language that reads aloud superbly. ‘Whoops-a-diddle, Toodle!’ Instead of giving humans names Tulloch uses onomatopoeia which also shows how Toodle views humans. The clippy-cloppy lady had made cupcakes for a picnic. And a delightful repeat refrain has been built into the story. And Toodle skedaddled with his tail between his legs.

Alliteration is another technique that brings this story to life. And Toodle skedaddled with his tail between his legs and a little whimpering whine. Tulloch brings our senses into play and uses strong verbs at just the right moments. The smelly sneakers grandpa put his paint pot on the path. The heart moments are when it seems nobody wants Toodle’s help so he creeps away. Once found, Toodle is back to being a happy dog who forgets about everything that’s happened. Toodle raced around happily, jumping, and thumping and bumping and stumbling and fumbling and bumbling.

Cooper-Smith is a talented illustrator who is the second part of this picture book series team. Her signature watercolour and digital creations make Tulloch’s words sing. Toodle and his personality are brought to life vibrantly and true to character. She has kept Toodle consistent throughout the series and he is easily recognisable.

Another thing that Cooper-Smith does brilliantly is create the other characters and setting from a dog’s perspective. This means Toodle is often looking up at humans and the things around seem big to quite a small dog. A little bird accompanies Toodle on his shenanigans and this adds character and charm to the book. The dog behaviour is realistic, and varied perspectives create story backdrops and scenes. The colour palette is bright and realistic and matches the Australian suburban setting well.

Toodle the Cavoodle Sniffle Snuffle is a part of a picture book series for children 3-8 years that brings together the wonderfulness of dogs, friendship, and community. This book and others in the series are a delicious read aloud for young children which not only makes the book fun but are a great tool for a young child’s language development. This book appeals to children, parents, teachers, and librarians.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.