All Dogs Bark (Catherine Meatheringham & Deb Hudson, Windy Hollow Books)
A picture book that is particularly appealing for canine lovers, All Dogs Bark is a joyous and raucous look at the dogs of the world. Its simple language makes it suitable for toddlers, who will be delighted to learn that unlike the Australian ‘woof’, international dogs bark in different ways. The French dog, for instance, communicates with ‘jappe’, while the Chinese dog says ‘wang’. From India to Holland, Japan to Brazil, children (and grown-ups) will have fun reading out loud all the different ways dogs bark around the globe. All Dogs Bark contains minimal, repetitive text and bright, simple illustrations, but is nonetheless an effective introduction to different countries and a non-Anglocentric point of view. As well as pictures of the various nations mentioned, there are also numerous types of dogs cavorting all over the pages, so adults can also introduce kids to the different breeds featured. It’s a salutary lesson for young ones to realise that not all dogs go ‘woof woof woof’; indeed, if they live and roam and wag their tails in Russia, dogs will go ‘gav gav gav’ instead.
Thuy On is a freelance arts journalist and reviewer, and the books editor of the Big Issue.