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Dogger: the much-loved children’s classic

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Such a lovely story. Shirley Hughes books are always wonderful stories of everyday life which children can relate to.

Best of all has been perennially encountering very young children who are learning to look with such rapt pleasure and follow a story visually long before they are able to read.' This is one of my all time favourite reads. I read this throughout my childhood and remember it fondly.Expressed in few words, the realisation that Dogger has gone dawns slowly on Dave, which avoids the need for that dreaded word ‘Suddenly’. The slow realisation fosters more empathy, somehow: Dogger by Shirley Highes is a classic tale loved by the classes I have taught it to. The reworked Talk For Writing text is approx. 170 words. I used it when teaching in our topic ‘All About Me’ as the children get to discuss their favourite toys and teddy bears. This text would also work with a topic on Teddy Bears and Toys. Lucy Mangan in Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading says that now that she's a mom, she cries every time she reads this. I can see why. And the pictures are absolutely fantastic, so lively and expressive and lovely.

Hughes’ characters, too, have a ‘homely’ look to them. Even the faces of the children are rendered with inky lines that almost makes them look like old people. Hughes was definitely not a part of the new media trend, in which it is thought that children are drawn irresistibly towards characters with big eyes. What stands out to me reading this story from 1977, the height of second wave feminism, is that the character of Bella — apart from her feminine name and use of ‘her’ — looks no different from a boy. Comparing Bella to modern depictions of girlhood in picture books, today’s young readers are used to the convention that girls must look a certain way: They’ll probably be wearing an article of clothing that is pink. If represented by animals, the female animals will have heavier eyelashes, redder lips or a bow on their head. Yet apart from pink pyjamas, Bella is dressed androgynously — her femaleness is not important to the story — she is first and foremost a kindly older sibling, and I really appreciate this about the character.I remember his edition of Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens. Another illustrator whose fairytale books I enjoyed was Edmund Dulac.' Author and illustrator Shirley Hughes OBE was the first ever Book Trust Lifetime Achievement Award winner. She wrote and illustrated over 200 cherished children’s books, including the celebrated Alfie stories. I had almost forgotten just how good this is. Shirley Hughes manages to tread that fine line between emotionally affecting and twee without ever falling into the cutesy pie.

The activities provided are mainly those for rotation. An activity with the teacher, the teaching assistant and independent activities that the children will get to do all of over 2 lessons. There are two whole class activities. Features editor at Penguin Alice Vincent posted: 'Saw Shirley Hughes at Oxford Literary Festival, ages ago, with my mum.

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One of my favourite children's books. It made me feel so warm and fuzzy after, I wish I had a sibling who would have done that for me!

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