Review Blog

Jul 19 2011

Douglas by G.N. Hargreaves

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Egmont, 2011. ISBN 9781 4052 5727 5.
(Ages: 6-8) Picture book. Douglas the dog is most unusual. He is unlike any other dog. Where most run after cats, he does not, where others play in the garden, he sits inside and reads the paper; he also skis, plays chess and eats in restaurants. But he cannot wag his tail. Derided by other dogs for this peculiar inability, he wanders into the forest bemoaning his fate. He hears a voice from the tree, and finds a bird, Basil, who says he will help him with his problem. Together they work out a solution to Douglas's problem, which involves climbing the highest tree and attempting to fly. Douglas does this and finds the whole situation so ludicrous that he beings to laugh and so wags his tail. Solution found, the two friends find that the bird can now woof!
An unusual tale about difference and trying to help each other, the story could be used in classes where difference is under discussion, or perhaps where bullying is an issue, then this could be used to introduce the topic of difference. Students will laugh out loud at the antics of Douglas as he does things that no dog does, and his attempts to be 'normal'.
Fran Knight

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