Book Review: Dogger

Rating: ★★★★★

Dave’s favorite toy is a stuffed toy named Dogger.  He carries him everywhere and depends on him to help him go to sleep.  One morning, while out with his mother, meeting his older sister Bella at school, Dogger disappears.  When bedtime comes, Dogger is nowhere to be found, and although Bella loans him one of her teddies, he is very sad during the night.  In the morning at the school fair, Dave is too sad to have fun, and he wanders off from the rest of his family.  At one of the used-toy stands he is shocked to see Dogger for sale.  He runs to find his parents, but finds only Bella, who returns to the stand with him just in time to see another child walk away with Dogger.  Bella saves the day, trading her new teddy bear for the worn old Dogger.

This well-written story begins with concrete details and builds to a dramatic crisis and resolution that any child who’s had a “lovey” can identify with.  Hughes’ artwork is wonderfully rendered, with a particular eye to details that emphasize the warmth and closeness of this family.  Most importantly, Bella’s open-hearted self-sacrifice epitomizes the kindness that siblings ought to express toward one another.  Elder and younger siblings will appreciate this story for different reasons.

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Publication Information: Hughes, Shirley. Dogger. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books. 1988. ISBN: 1862305935.
Categories: 5 Stars, Age 04-08, Books That Build Character,, Read-Aloud Handbook
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Posted on February 3, 2010

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