This charming picture book published by Simon & Schuster has quickly become a firm favourite with my 2 year old daughter. It is frequently requested as a bed-time read, has traveled on many journeys with us and been read by lots of family members, bringing much joy and laughter to both Ruby and the reader.
From the very first page, the text elicits squeals of delight and peels of laughter:
"My dog is not like other dogs.
He doesn't do dog stuff like weeing on lampposts, scratching his fleas or drinking out of toilet."
The sketch-style, quirky illustrations by Sara Ogilvie appeal to me, being reminiscent of some of my own childhood cartoons like Willo the Wisp.
The story is one of triumph over adversity, of believing in oneself and of not giving up on your dreams.
My daughter is not a 'girly-girl' and she certainly is not interested in ballet lessons, but this book has struck a chord. Helped by the fact that the little girl character is nameless, the young listener can imagine themselves as the central character, and that the plucky little dog is theirs.
A delightful book, that will long be a favourite in this house, Ruby already knows the story inside out and can recite it to herself.
This is the first picture book written by Anna Kemp, but I for one hope she will write many more.
Published by Simon & Schuster and available from book shops nationwide.