Just Imagine

100 Dogs

Authored by Michael Whaite
Illustrated by Michael Whaite
Published by Penguin

100 Dogs is a picture-book which lists 100 types of dogs, showing breeds and personalities in an entertaining and humorous way. The book has proved controversial with some dog owners, but we won’t go into that here as it distracts from a genuinely original publication.

I have read 100 Dogs to EYFS, KS1 and KS2, to dog fans and those wary of dogs. All have immediately fallen in love with the book and wanted to choose and share their favourite dog. One Y1 boy was trying not to giggle as he told me ‘sniffing at a botty dog’ was, funnily enough, his favourite.

As a read-aloud text, it is impossible not to read it in a rhythmic, playful manner but I did have to stop myself from speeding up with excitement. I also had an interesting discussion with children about how to use the layout and the rhymes to help you read it.

As with any successful picture-book, the illustrations work together with the text. The use of background colours really hold the whole text together. The different expressions in the eyes of each dog is a delight and we are placed at dog level with only human legs or hands visible.

This is a perfect read-aloud text from Nursery to Year 6. It reinforces rhythm and rhyme beautifully and can be used as an opportunity for children to develop their oracy skills as they explain their choices. Children could create a backstory for each dog and, if you really want to, you could talk about adjectives.

This is a picture-book which I will keep in my collection of classic, never-fail to entertain books