Review Blog

Mar 17 2016

Top dog by Rod Clement

cover image

Angus and Robertson, 2016. ISBN 9780732298753
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Dogs. Cities. Business life. Samson is an extraordinary dog. He can not only talk and walk on his hind legs, and dress in a suit, but holds down the CEO position at a major company in the city. Each morning he is chauffeured to work, where he is greeted by his staff and given a cup of coffee. He and his staff work very hard; he loves to chew things over, and throw ideas around. His well trained staff bring his paper in each morning and sit when he says to sit.
Readers will have a great time comparing his life with that of their dog or cat, seeing the slant Clement puts on his extraordinary poodle. They will laugh out loud as he turns things on their head, showing the actions usually shown by an owner to his dog, used by the dog to his staff: a pat on the head, a tickle on the tummy, a bone given as a treat. All lampoon the things dogs get up to in the family home, but here we are in a city office tower. The play on words will intrigue and delight readers, and get them looking at some of the idioms, such as, 'chew things over' or 'throw ideas around'. Samson's office looks out from a great height over the city, giving views of the harbour and city buildings. But he does insist that his staff stay behind to do extra work, and fetch for him, while sometimes they need to beg him for a favour.
Clement's lovely water colour and pen and ink illustrations will delight the reader, the soft watercolour presenting an adorable dog, one that the readers will take to their hearts. This book will encourage a closer look at some of the words and expressions used in relation to the children's pets.
Fran Knight

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