Mac the Dog Man by Elizabeth Vercoe
Vercoe, 2016. ISBN 9780994587008
(Ages: 3-6) The author, Liz Vercoe, met Mac in Melbourne during her early morning walks by the river. Her story is about him: a dog walker who is a 'kind-hearted king and the boss of the dogs'. The text is comprised of stories that Mac tells about his dogs ('When I came back, this one was so excited that she jumped right up to my shoulder'), alongside details about Mac's practices ('Mac speaks gently but firmly to all the dogs'), and with refrains of 'The dogs love Mac' and dog noises ('Snoodle! Woff! Yap!'). The text is quite lengthy and the way it jumps around may make it difficult for younger children to follow. Some children may also find it difficult to grasp some of the stories Mac tells about the dogs; but what they will understand is that the dogs love Mac and Mac loves the dogs. The soft watercolour illustrations highlight Mac's gentle nature and the unique character of each of the dogs. This will appeal greatly to dog lovers and the rhythmic language flows beautifully when read aloud.