I’m a sucker for a good dog story, especially when it features a very cute dog who you can’t help but love. Bad Dog Flash is New Zealand author and illustrator Ruth Paul’s dog story. Like her previous books, including the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist book, Stomp, Ruth has proven that she can tell a fun and entertaining story using very few words and her delightful illustrations.
Bad Dog Flash is the story of a playful puppy whose games keep getting him in to trouble. Whether it’s chasing the cat, digging a hole in the garden to hide his bone or chasing the washing on the line, he always gets told off. However, as all dog lovers know, you can only be angry with your dog for so long, and then it’s back to giving them lots of love and affection.
Bad Dog Flash is a wonderful picture book, full of mischief and humour. It certainly has the cute factor because I just want to pick the wee guy up and give him a cuddle. Ruth Paul’s illustrations are soft, making Flash look fluffy and adorable, but she’s also given him loads of character. Ruth has made Flash bouncy and full of energy (as all puppies are) and you can tell by the expression on his face and the curl of his tail that he’s happy. Flash also has a really good guilty face. You can tell by the way that Ruth has illustrated Flash and his actions that she is a dog person. The way that Flash plays with his stick and the shoes is absolutely spot on.
The thing that I love the most about Ruth’s books is the way that she can tell such a wonderful story with so few words. The text on the pages with Flash and his stick is ‘Push stick, poke stick…chew stick, chuck stick…’ Ruth could have used more words, but these eight words work so well just by themselves. All you need are these action words and you can fill in the rest yourself.
The rhythm and rhyme of the text make the story a lot of fun to read aloud and I’m sure you’ll find the children joining in with you as repeat ‘Bad dog, Flash!’ Grab a copy of Bad Dog Flash from your library or bookshop and meet this loveable little troublemaker.