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My daughter received a few cards with money in for her birthday. I promised she could spend some of the money. We popped into town and popped into a couple of toyshops. We had a chat over lunch as she thought about the toys she had seem and we decided that she had too many toys and we would have a look in the bookshop for a nice book. I guided her toward waterstones as they have many books on offer like buy 2 get one free or buy one get one free.
On a stand in the children's section was a book with a red cover with a yellow Labrador puppy. My daughter is 7 years old and loves all animals. I encouraged her to look around at all the other books but she really wanted that book. It was not part of any offers and was priced at £7.99, which I thought was a little expensive. I showed her the other books in the offer and how much more she could get for her money but she had fallen in love with that book and sat down on the carpet and began to read it. The final decision was to buy Bad dog Marley written by John Grogan and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. I resigned to the fact that she was getting that book, her money her choice!
When we got home, she ran off upstairs with her new book. I popped up to check what she was doing a little later and it turns out the book has an audio cd in the back of the book so she had been listening to the story repeatedly!
Later that evening we sat down together to enjoy the book. I can completely understand why she choose this book the cover and illustrations are lovely. The cover is a deep red with an illustration on Marley the Labrador ripping his way through the corner of the page. The book has 38 pages, which is quite a lot for a children's book. The book is quite large but not to big, so it is easy to manage.
I love the layout of this book there is area of writing among the large and gorgeous illustrations, which also tell the story. The writing is a great size for early readers. The text is broken up into bits so it is not to overwhelming for young readers.
The story is also lovely. Mummy, Daddy, Cassie and baby Louie get a puppy. The lovely Labrador puppy comes into there life and as puppies do he causes mischief and destroys a few things he starts off small and cute but soon eat and eats and grows and grows.
Marley is told "No Marley" constantly by all the family. Marley is not being naughty on purpose he is in fact trying to be good. The illustrations in the book tend to tell the story more than the text. On one page the text, say, "Marley tried to be good. He tried to make friends with a squirrel" this page shows Marley smashing through a glass window and chasing the very scared looking squirrel that mum and baby Louis are watching out the window.
The last straw is when Marley trashes the sofa and covers the living room with feathers. Mummy and daddy put an advert into the paper. "Big yellow dog- a little crazy but with a pure heart. Free to good home"
This part of the story I am not to keen on. It is important that children understand that getting an animal is a big decision and you cannot just get rid of them when they grow big or misbehave. A dog is for life not just for Christmas! There are loads of other options that could have been looked into at this point in the book like dog training, etc.
Luckily, Marley does not find a new home as he jumps up and scares off everyone who comes to look at him. He then earns his place in the family by saving baby Louis life and becomes a hero!
I would recommend this book for young children I love the illustrations in this book. Marley has such a cute face and the emotions shine through really well. The cd, which came with the book, is also very nice the story is told in a lovely tone and the speed is just right. My daughter loves listening to the cd in bed while looking at the book when she is tired.
Look at the picture above, i loved this picture the second i saw it so just had to buy this book, so typical of a labradore to be destroying something he shouldnt.
All the family are excited to get a new puppy, marley, he is a labradore and if my experience of labradores is anything to go on they can expect trouble right from the begining.
Marley doesnt stay a cute and adorable puppy for long, he grows and grows and grows but as marley grows so does the trouble he finds himself in.
Marley tries his best to be a good dog but he just cant resist temptation, he chews up moms glasses amongst other things and every time he does something wrong they say bad dog marley.
To find out if marly learns to behave you will have to read the book.
This book is aimed at children of around 4 years old and wholst me and my daughters enjoyed this book i do think that there are some things that are not appropriate about this childrens book.
I cannot tell you why with out spoiling the ending to the story but i wouldnt like my children to treat animals as an object they own or to concider the options they use in the book to try to solve the problem with marley, you will hopefully understand when you read the book.
It is a nice book but morraly i think it is wrong.
'Bad Dog, Marley' is a picture book which I have recently been reading with my four year old daughter and she absolutely loves it - mind you she does seem to have quite an obsession with dogs so I am not really surprised! It is written by John Grogan with wonderful illustrations by Richard Cowdrey. John Grogan is the author of the bestseller 'Marley and Me: Life and Love with the world's Worst Dog'. He is an American author, but I did not realise this until after I had read the book which goes to show that it does not have an american feel to it!
At the beginning of 'Bad Dog, Marley' we meet a family who already have quite a lot of pets although they don't have a puppy. The two children, Cassie and Baby Louie, plead with their parents for a dog until eventually they give in and Marley is introduced to the family. He is a very cute puppy but he doesn't stay like that for long! He starts growing and growing - and as he grows, so does the amount of trouble that he finds himself in!
The family keep fiding Marley doing all sorts of things that he shouldn't be doing from eating someone else's dinner to climbing up to the tallest cupboard in the kitchen to reach and eat a chocolate cake to totally destroying the living room furniture and creating a snowstorm of feathers! Every time one of his misdemeanours occurs he is met with a chorus of 'Bad Dog, Marley!' from Mummy, Daddy and Cassie, and something sounding remotely like that from Baby Louie!
The living room episode is the final straw though and the family decide that Marley has to go! The problem is though that they can't even give him away to a good home! This does actually turn out to be a good thing because right at the end of the story Marley does something quite heroic and saves Baby Louie from grave danger! It's now 'Good Dog, Marley!' and luckily for him, they all decide he can stay!
This is a great storyline to share with young children. It's funny and cute, but it's also a good talking point about how much trouble puppies can be - quite useful if your child is always going on about getting a puppy! It also has a really happy ending which is always necessary when sharing books with young children.
This is also the sort of book where you have to pay very careful attention to the pictures as you read it. These tell you so much more than just the words on their own! For example on one page it says'He drank what was in his bowl! He drank what wasn't.' When you look at the picture you see Marley with his head right down the toilet! On another page it says 'He tried to make friends with a squirrel'. This sounds pretty harmless until you look at the picture which shows Marley chasing a squirrel and breaking a window in the process! This is how it goes through out the book- the words playing down the misdemaenours with the pictures actually showing the true story!
All of the pictures are really great too. There is masses of detail in each one and my daughter loves pointing out lots of different things to me. Every time we read it she seems to notice something new which she has not seen before. The pictures of Marley himself are all really expressive with cheeky looks on his face when he is getting up to mischief, and slightly hang dog expressions when he is being told off. The book ends with a lovely full page picture of him looking absolutely delighted because he is allowed to stay and everyone is saying 'Good Dog, Marley!'
I also like the language used in this book as there are lots of lovely descriptions. The description of Louie as a 'crawly, squirmy boy' with a 'giant droopy nappy' is, I think, particularly apt. Later on, the dog is described as 'the abominable snowmarley'! I like books where the author does not dumb down the language he uses, because I feel sure that it is through good books like this that children learn to extend their vocabulary.
So overall this is a story that I'm sure that most animal loving children will enjoy. There are quite a few words on most pages so your child does need to ba able to concentrate and follow the story for about ten minutes in order to get the most out of it.
The book is published by Harper Collins Children's Boks and has a RRP of £5.99.
A heart-warming picture book about the World's Worst Dog, inspired by John Grogan's phenomenally bestselling memoir, Marley and Me. Mummy, Daddy, Cassie and Baby Louie welcome Marley, their new Labrador puppy, into their family. But Marley doesn't stay a tiny puppy for long. He grows and grows, and the bigger Marley gets, the bigger trouble he gets into. Until, one day, Marley goes too far! Will Marley's family have to find him a new home?