Our Dog Benji / Little Oink

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Our Dog Benji
Pete Carter and James Henderson
EK Books
The small boy narrator of this little book has a large dog; a dog that, unlike the boy, is pretty much omnivorous, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, avocado, grass, daffodils, ice-cream – understandably – are all tasty treats for the animal.

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Mornings see him searching the kitchen floor for crumbs, at mealtimes he sits hopefully under the table and even goes off alone on food forays. Building sites (for the odd bite of a sandwich) …

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and parties for a sample of ‘posh food’ are also fruitful places for a visit.
Summer comes with samplings of crunchy bugs and unripe apples (with dramatic effects on his tum and er… bum). What about our narrator though? He seems to be acquiescing somewhat: did I hear a mention of eating fruit and veg.?
Not however the green crunchy leaf stalks of a certain vegetable beginning with c.
Henderson’s duo-tone artwork works well for this tale of a food faddy child and his dog. Adults concerned about fussy eaters especially, will smile at Carter’s tale and hope that perhaps like the small boy protagonist, their charges will try some new foods, perhaps even ‘green stuff’

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Little Oink
Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace
Chronicle Books
The hero of this board book, Little Oink, is a tiny treasure; a fun loving, nursery school savouring, family loving little guy. However, unlike most youngsters, he has a great dislike for mess-making of any kind; in fact he wants everything to be just so: after all his pals are allowed to have tidy rooms. “Why can’t I?” Little Oink asks his parents one day.

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Papa Pig’s ‘respectable grown up pigs are proper mess makers’ explanation and Mama Pig’s proviso for going out to play, “Mess up your room, put on some dirty clothes,” have him obeying – eventually. Then off he goes to have fun – playing … house!

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This makes a trilogy of ‘Little’ books from Rosenthal and again, her humour shines through and is delightfully illuminated through Jen Corace’s deliciously droll illustrations.

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