Nomax by Shannon Horsfall
Angus and Robertson, 2017. ISBN 9781460753927
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Dogs. Pets. Names. A delightfully funny picture book in which the text belies the image given on each page will have readers laughing out loud as the dog chews its way through things he shouldn't, steals sausages from the butcher or tries to help dad by bringing his slippers but resulting in moving the standard lamp closer to his chair with predictable results.
The dog is thrilled that his dad calls him by name, Nomax, each time he does something incredibly helpful, but readers will see the underlying humour as Nomax's antics get him into trouble each time. Running down the hill while on the lead sees dad call out Nomax, digging the roses in the garden sees his name called out again, washing his socks or tidying the office gets an instant response of his name being called. The gentle humour will appeal to younger readers, whether this is read out loud or read alone. If read in a group I can see children calling out to say what Nomax has done, thrilling at the unexpected results of his helpfulness. And turning the last page will bring gales of laughter as they realise why he is called Nomax.
Horsfall's illustrations are deliciously witty with the funniest expressions on the dog's face being shown with just the slightest of changes in his mouth and eyes. Things hanging from his mouth belie his perception that he is doing the right thing, and will elicit laughter from the readers.