Peter Gouldthorpe (text), Lucy Gouldthorpe (illus.), Our Dog Knows Words, Lothian/Hachette, 27 Oct 2015, 24pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9780734416339
CBCA award-winning author and illustrator, Peter Gouldthorpe, teams up with his daughter, Lucy Gouldthorpe, on the picture book Our Dog Knows Words published by Hachette Australia.
In this delightfully simple story, readers meet a clever dog who knows lots of words, but doesn’t always choose to obey them. Through a string of activities such as mealtime or playing in the park, the dog’s owners give various commands — Sit!, Fetch!, Down! — and the dog understands them all. But following the commands is not always the case, which creates some fun, heart-warming moments.
Anyone with a dog will immediately recognise the familiar phrases used with a canine pet and will appreciate that they aren’t always obeyed. In fact, by the end of the story, I realised just how many words dogs understand — and it’s really quite impressive!
The lovely illustrations perfectly compliment the story and show how everyday life is lovingly interrupted by man’s best friend.
Reading Our Dog Knows Words to my four-year-old instantly brought to mind the concept of commands and exclamation points which we hadn’t previously discussed. This book would be an excellent addition to group time with preschoolers, and could spark discussion about using commands as part of effective communication, one of the five Learning Outcomes in the Early Years Learning Framework curriculum. In addition, this book could begin various discussions about caring for dogs or owning pets in general.
A lovely book, sure to please any dog-loving family.
Reviewed by Stephanie Ward