DASHING DOG 2013
Written by Margaret Mahy
Illustrated by Donovan Bixley
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.