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Non-Fiction Focus Week: Usborne Little Book of Dogs and Puppies

Posted on Nov 2, 2010

Philip Clarke (text) & Stephen Lambert (illustrations)
My five-year old daughter is a fan of stories. She does not enjoy non-fiction and it is always a struggle to make her read her school reading books when they are non-fiction. Unless it involves puppies. If it involves puppies, she will look at just about anything (as you can see from the picture, there are no real puppies in our house but many stuffed substitutes). So this book is perfect for her. As soon as I got it, she spent a lot of time pouring over the pages.

Usborne are great at doing non-fiction, there is no doubt about that. They have a great eye for page design, and this is no exception. Each double-spread covers a different subject, from “Breeds of dogs” to “Walkies” and “Heroic hounds”. There are lots of facts and also some great tips for dog owners. Each spread is set up in a similar format with a mix of fonts and illustrations and photographs, which makes finding information easier. A reader, like my daughter, who cannot tackle the main text yet, can still access some of the text on the sides quite easily.

My daughter and I particularly enjoyed the double-page on learning to draw dogs. We spent quite a bit of time on Saturday evening perfecting our doggy drawings.

Overall, this is a great little information book! It is works really well both as an information book for children who might have or be in the process of acquiring a dog or for children who just love dogs. And the photographs of puppies are just too cute.

As for my daughter, this is what she had to say:
I like how they designed the pages because I like the mix of pictures and illustrations and they are all labelled with nice fonts. All the facts were interesting. My favourite bit is the picture of the bulldog puppy … and the running golden retriever puppy, because I like to see dogs run and how their mouths open and their ears fly in the wind.

She only let me have the book back long enough so I could review it!
Sent for review by publisher.


  1. Aww – it’s sweet how much she likes the puppies! It looks like a fun book.

  2. I love the fact that your daughter knows what a font is already! And that she likes seeing pictures of dog’s running… they do look great when they are running with their tongues flapping around. Enjoy your week of non-fiction.

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