Book Reviews: The Hamster Book, by Silvia Borando and Dog on a Digger, by Kate Prendergast

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

cv_the_hamster_bookIt’s a little while since I was deeply immersed in preschool or picture books, so it was great to get these two from Booksellers NZ for a bit of an update!

The Hamster Book is a cute little number, with bold pictures and unfussy layout. However there is a lot of text compared to illustrations and I think it’s this that I am not quite so sold on.

I think the story – let’s wake up the hamster and encourage her to do her trick – is fine; but the two-colour text (one colour for the actual story, one for the instructions to the kid as to what we should do next) to me feels just a bit heavy-handed.

I’ll be interested to see what readers with pre-schoolers to test this on think.

cv_dog_on_a_diggerDog on a Digger, however, grabbed me from the first drawing. It helps that I do love dog stories, but this is a real delight. Not a word, only pictures. I love this kind of book as it’s wonderful to share with littlies who can put their spin on what happens, and who often see things we might miss.

The dog in this one is just like my dog – at first light, it’s clearly time to move! The digger dog gets his owner, the digger driver, up and off to work, and before they get on the digger they have to put on their safety gear – yup, the dog as well!

The story moves along nicely, and the pencil drawings are enlivened by one colour – yellow – for the digger cab, and the safety gear, and mostly importantly for extra clues as the tricky incident develops. It’s a lovely story and the second by the author/illustrator about this clever, unnamed dog. I hope she writes more.

The dog of course is the hero of the hour – and I won’t give spoilers, but I do thoroughly recommend this book to parents, caregivers, uncles, aunties, teachers…you won’t go wrong if you buy this one. You could even keep it for yourself; that’s what I intend to do!!

Reviewed by Sue Esterman

The Hamster Book
by Silvia Borando
Walker Books
ISBN 9781406367720

Dog on a Digger – the tricky incident
by Kate Prendergast
Old Barn Books
ISBN 9781910646144

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