The whole caboodle by Lisa Shanahan

cover image

Ill. by Leila Rudge. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781743629321
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Dogs, Pets, Counting, Word play. One dog wakes his owner to go for a walk. As he dresses and has breakfast, a tea cosy in the shape of a poodle can be seen on the table. He asks his dog who they will see in the park today, perhaps 'one itsy-bitsy poodle?'
Readers will love the rhythm of the phrase and love practicing it when they reread the book, while searching for the poodle on the page. Turning the page the question is asked again, 'two lovey-dovey bolonoodles?' but with a number two this time and a different set of dogs. On the page somewhere they will find the bolonoodles. One the next page, 'three fuddy-duddy Irish Troodles?' and three somewhere on the page, and so on until the last page when they all come together in the park. A wonderful read a loud, an amazing prediction text and a marvelous way with words will greet all readers. The play on words begins with all the names for the designer dogs based around poodle, so adults and children alike will have a lot of fun working out the mixture of dog breeds and working some out for themselves to add to the story.
The coloured pencil and wash illustrations are most attractive, giving lots of detail for the eyes to peruse and take in. There are many funny moments on the pages offering incidents which dog owners will recognise immediately all culminating with a double page full of dogs to drool over.
Fran Knight