Review Blog

Jan 29 2018

Little Dog and the summer holiday by Corinne Fenton

cover image

Ill. by Robin Cowcher. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781925381160
(Age: 3-7) Highly recommended. Themes: Holidays, Dogs, Family Life. Corinne Fenton and Robin Cowcher's delightful nostalgic story continues in Little Dog and the Summer Holiday. Little Dog and his family set off on an exciting caravan trip through Victoria and New South Wales stopping at iconic places along the way. Their destination is a caravan park in Sydney where they enjoy nights playing with new friends. Little Dog enjoys chasing the other dogs and experiencing all the new sights with his family. Jonathan and Annie love to include their dog in all their experiences, at the border crossing, in front of the Dog on the Tuckerbox and even on the ferry to Manley.
"The long, lazy days of summer holidays waited like parcels in a lucky dip." Fenton's story has a lyrical quality, with alliterative and imaginative phrases conjuring up the special times the family share. Each place they explore holds wonder and excitement: the busyness of the city, a ride on the sparkling carousel at the Fun Fair and the Three Sisters standing tall and proud in the Blue Mountains.
Robin Cowcher's beautiful ink and watercolour paintings uncover a time gone by when life was simpler, and families were happy in tiny caravans packed full of holiday gear. Picturesque scenes are washed with blues, sandy yellows and the colours of nature seamlessly complimenting Corinne Fenton's story. So much is explained in the little details, Mum's Brownie box camera, men dressed in suits even on holiday, ladies dressed up with scarves and hats, old style Holdens and the green and yellow double-decker buses crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
One piece bathing suits with ruched elastic, jellybean sandals and picnics under shady beach umbrellas take me back to my childhood memories in the 1960s. As the story is shared with a family or young learners, question the similarities and differences between their own experiences and those of Little Dog's family. Little Dog and the Summer Holiday is a lovely introduction to Early Years HASS, exploring Then and Now, Transport - changes over time and family life in another era.
Rhyllis Bignell

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