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Author(s): Frances Watts
A delightful picture book about a friendship between an exuberant but loveable dachshund and his more retiring, tidy housemate.
CBCA Shortlist 2020:Book of the Year: Early Childhood
CBCA Review:This book is full of energy and movement while exploring themes of friendship, tolerance, and difference. The strong message of positive reinforcement that we can be very different in how we act, what we eat, how we behave, how we look and yet still be best friends, provides a highly satisfying ending. The short, engaging sentences, with some repetition, keep the pages turning. Together, the text and illustrations combine beautifully to present fully rounded characters. The writing mimics the cheeky nature of felines, while the illustrations allow the reader to visualise Fred's boundless energy and enthusiasm, highlighting the personality and differences between the two friends. Observant readers may notice the clues to Fred's feline friend on the first reading hidden in the illustrations; however, finding Fred's friend will add to subsequent readings. There is an appealing artistic style in the pastel-toned watercolour illustrations. The design elements of the page layout highlight Fred's exuberant nature and movement, while still allowing white space. The endpapers perfectly bookend the story with all other elements combining to provide a strongly appealing, high-quality book for young readers.