We are introduced to Charlie by a young boy who is interested in becoming his new owner. We then hear about all the amazing adventures and abilities of Charlie from Charlie’s own mouth; from his days as a spy and saving people from fires and floods to his talent for singing, selfies and bathroom manners. All this on top of being a talking dog!
Of course the boy is amazed at all Charlie’s tales and wonders how this dog could possibly only be worth $10… this is where the twist comes. Upon inquiring about Charlie to his present owner the boy finds out the truth about Charlie; while Charlie is amazing at sharing his tales that’s all they actually are, tales. In reality Charlie the dog is just a dog. He hasn’t been around the world on crazy adventures nor has he saved lives. In fact he spends most of his days in the yard. However, the young boy, though disappointed in Charlie’s lying, still buys Charlie despite all this.
Rhythm and rhyme are so important towards children’s language learning and it’s always great to find a story that does both really well. Charlie and his amazing tales has a wonderful rhythm and rhyme to it that makes it really seem like it’s coming from the mouth of an excited dog. Children will find humour in the exaggerated stories that Charlie the dog tells and it could possibly get their own imaginations flowing!
As well as being a humorous tale this story has an important message about being yourself and accepting others for who they are. Charlie didn’t need to make up amazing tales about himself because he is amazing just the way he is (he’s already a talking dog!).
The bold and brightly coloured pencil illustrations suit the story and Kinnaird has managed to portray movement and expression amazingly in each scene. I enjoyed finding all the extra little details on each page, especially the appropriately placed Easter egg of the book Doggy Doo on my Shoe also by McMillan and Kinnaird.
Charlie and his amazing tales is a fun and imaginative story with an unexpected twist that addresses the importance of being yourself and also accepting people for who they are. But perhaps most importantly, children will enjoy the exciting story and illustrations of this book.
Reviewed by Alana Bird
Charlie and His Amazing Tales
by Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird
Published by Oratia Media