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Book review: Seadog, by Claire Saxby and Tom Jellett

Posted by Lisa Hill on April 15, 2013

SeadogI am a complete sucker for picture books about dogs, but I especially like Seadog by Claire Saxby and Tom Jellett because it reminds me of a similar rapscallion from my childhood menagerie of pets.

On hot days, my mother used to pick us up from school and take us to Brighton Beach for a swim.  On one of these afternoons, we made the acquaintance of the dirtiest, smelliest, noisiest dog in creation, all alone and homeless.  He was also very big, almost as big as the thieving Rhodesian Ridgeback we once had, that sabotaged friendly relations with all our neighbours.  Anyway, somehow we squeezed him into the back of the Hillman Minx and took him home.

I suspect that my mother was desperately hoping that the calls to the Lost Dogs’ Home would bear fruit, but she took it stoically when his (possibly relieved) owners failed to materialise.  We named him Willoughby, and we loved him to bits, despite his penchant for rolling in the dirt and running away at bathtime.  Until one day he jumped our tall front fence and we never saw him again.  No doubt he found another family with whom to share his enthusiasms.  He was that kind of street-smart dog.

Seadog has a similar attitude to smelly things.  Teachers looking for texts for the Australian Curriculum English Literature strand will love the rhyme and rhythm of this book.  It’s perfect for Preps (Foundation) and Years One and Two:

Ours is not a clean dog,
a shiny or a fluffy dog,
our dog is a Seadog,
a find-and-roll-in-fish dog.
Pee-ee-euw, Seadog!

The illustrations by Tom Jellett are bright and colourful in cheery primary colours.  I won’t be surprised if this title is shortlisted in awards this year.

Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Tom Jellett
Title: Seadog
Publisher: Random House 2013
ISBN: 9781742756509
Source: Review copy courtesy of Random House

Available from May 2013 (and you can preorder now)

Fishpond: Seadog
Or direct from Random House

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