Tim Hopgood
(Macmillan Children’s Books)

Elsa would love to have a dog as a pet, but she lives with her dad on the 24th floor of a big apartment block and her dad thinks that dogs are too much trouble anyway: they are noisy, smelly, needy …. But Rod the dog isn’t like that. He likes art, does not bark, uses the toilet … Surely all dogs are like him? Dad agrees to let Elsa look after their neighbour’s dog Barker and soon Elsa realises that not all dogs are as well behaved as Rod.
I loved the artwork in this book; the colours used are bright and very unusual, with a lot of yellow. Rod is, of course, an imaginary dog but it is only through illustrations that one can work it out: Hopgood used glitter and lots of little starts all around Rod which gives a real sense of magic.

This book was shortlisted for the “younger children” category of