ALL CONTENT © DONOVAN BIXLEY 2014
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DASHING DOG 2013
Written by Margaret Mahy
Illustrated by Donovan Bixley
Hardcover
includes CD read by Margaret Mahy
240 x 250mm (portrait), 32 pages

 

A delightful doggy tale by one of the world's best-loved

children's writers, brought to vivid life with illustrations

by Donovan Bixley.

 

REVIEWED BY BOB DOCHERTY

I know Donovan Bixley would not like to think he has upstaged Mahy’s

text but unwittingly he has and the result is an excellent picture book. 

The written and visual text work perfectly together to heighten the 

humour, the snobbery and the drama as Betty is saved by the once 

pampered pooch. The illustrations grabbed me on page one with 

the owner of the Pampered Poodle salon, brilliant moustache kisscurl 

and bedroom eyes. It is the detail of the array of birds , dogs and humans 

that witness the happenings that impressed me. Easy to read, great 

pictures and lots of humour. A sure hit for everybody. 

 

REVIEWED BY SARAH JANE BARNETT

Dear Margaret, I wish I’d been able to meet you while you were alive. 

I bet you had some good stories to tell, and could have taught me a thing 

or two about persistence and humour. I don’t know if you got to see the 

republication of your book before you died. You know the one,

Dashing Dog, about the snobby family and their “curlicued” but chaotic dog 

that they parade down the beach. It comes with a CD of you reading the story.

Maybe as my son gets older he’ll find that interesting, but at the moment he’s all

about the book. “Dog! Dog!” he says and climbs into my lap. It’s currently his

most loved book and mine too. I hope you had a hand in Bixley doing the re-illustrations.

I have to say, they’re incredible. My favourite is the one of Dashing Dog stuck in the

briar rose: the family concerned with their dog’s ruined coat, the sea behind, and

baby Betty heading toward the jetty. My son’s favourite picture is when Dashing Dog

leaps into the sea to save Betty (“Dog!”). I’ve tried to explain the moral of the story,

about valuing people for how they act rather than how they look, but he’s only two so

I should probably save the social and feminist critique for when he’s older.