Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: This Is A Dog by Ross Collins

Review: This Is A Dog by Ross Collins


This is a cat. But wait a second – what is that dog doing in the pictures? And why is he scribbling all the words out with a black crayon?

First animal books are great sources of information for early readers … but Dog reckons they could be improved. What if he posed on every page? It could all be about him instead. And everyone loves a dog.

The other animals aren’t so certain, and eventually they rebel. The result is a chase, but don’t worry. Dog has more than one trick up his sleeve.

A hilarious take on a first animal book from the award-winning picture book creature behind There’s A Bear On My Chair. 

First dog jumps into the picture. Then he rolls around like a giddy, playful puppy. Then he dresses up as an elephant. Excitement builds up as the reader is left wondering what he will do next. 


Picture books have a very tight word limit and one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that they have to cram as much information as possible on to the page. Then there are genius books like this, which seem to get straight into the mindset of their very young readers. Ross Collins has mastered the art of creating as much fun as possible with very few words. This is a book that makes great use of the unexpected.

First word books are fabulous. Early readers need to soak up a huge amount of vocabulary before they can decode stories for themselves. However, like an adult presented with a list or a factual document, sometimes there is great joy in seeing all the rules broken. Dog is a maverick and it is clear from his joyous facial expressions that he knows he is being cheeky. Like all the best picture books there is a slightly subversive message: breaking the rules is fun …. but only for as long as you get away with it. 

This book is delightful in its energy and humour. It uses very few words, as I said, but I can guarantee you will read them over and over. 


Thanks to Nosy Crow LTD for my copy of This Is A Dog. Opinions my own.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s