I've always liked the name Sophie, it has a certain ring of sophistication about it. Sophies always seem like top friends: fun, loyal and effortlessly cool. Sophies seem down-to-earth, sensible, whilst knowing their way around a sparkly eye-liner. Sophies also sound as though they recognise a damn find book when they read one. So it was no surprise when Ian forwarded to me a review of our book which had been written by Sophie Grierson, who is a very cool 14 year-old. It was written purely because she wanted to do it - a VERY cool thing in itself - and a mighty fine job she's done of it too!
So BIG CHEERS to you Sophie; you've made my weekend and I'm pretty certain that you've made Ian's too. I'm going to copy it all in here because it is certainly worth a read and hopefully will encourage more reviews - because they are worth their weight in gold.
The Extremely Very Scrambled Up World Of Little Doogs.
Playing the road trip game
This book is obviously meant to be read by children from the ages of about seven to nine. The writing is big, and the size of the book with pictures on every page keep children interested.
The basic storyline is a group of animals always on the move because one of them is trying to get business, and always fails. So they have to keep moving, to find other places. They can’t seem to agree where to go next, and when they eventually do they get very lost. The Schnoops are meant to create funny solutions that maybe children would think of as well to everyday problems. This is meant to be a funny read that will gather the Schnoops many little fans.
It is a good idea that immediately, when you open the book, you get a clear, good idea of which characters do what and what they look like. The language in this book is simple, yet it is also what you would think goes around the head of a child.
The subject and storyline of a group of animals travelling would keep a child reading, because children love exploration and animals. You can tell from the first few lines on the characters descriptions that the kind of things you find out about them are rather random. For example: when you first meet someone and get to know them, they don’t tell you straight away that they like to collect sweet wrappers and spiders.
The name ‘Schnoops’ is quite childish, and children love new words. Throughout this book many new words are used. Sometimes, they use modern language that teenagers use today. For example it says: ‘it smells well rank’.
The Chapters also have the name that the first sentence of that chapter will carry on, for example: “There must be some mistake!” and then the first sentence of that chapter is ‘“There must be some mistake!” Honey snapped.’
Also, sometimes when the authors are trying to demonstrate what these animals are saying or doing, they put the sentences into swirl like shapes or curve them round. For example: ‘enormous’ is written hugely and in a slanted bold font, to demonstrate how big they are describing something.
The main narrator in this story is Little Doogs, who keeps a notebook, and uses it like a scrapbook and diary, and you find out what a lot of the made up words mean at the end. For example: ‘nab the gate’ means ‘navigate’ and ‘Snoepjie’ is a Dutch word for ‘Sweetie’.
This book is a perfect example of what children would love to read, and seeing as it is targeted to that age group, this book should do well.
Love ya Sophie!