19th January '17
This charming picture book tells the story of Patch the sheepdog, who is new to Apple Tree Farm. He chases the chickens, cows and pigs until he finally gets told off; everyone thinks he's very silly. Patch manages to redeem himself when he finds the missing sheep - and the son of his old owner, who shows them that Patch is trained by whistles not words; so he isn't silly after all! The story is sweet and playful; it's a lovely demonstration of judging before you know the full story.
My children love the brightly-coloured illustrations; they are full of detail so work well to examine and talk about with them - it's great for all aspects of language development. There is a little yellow duck hidden on every page and finding them occupies my toddlers for ages.
The two levels of text on each page is an excellent design. The top line is short and simple; it's ideal for reading to young children or for early readers. The bottom line expands on and lengthens the story - it works well for reading to older or more attentive children as well as for more confident young readers. There's a lot of longevity in this book; we will be enjoying it for years to come.