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My three year old loves having Hairy Maclary stories read to him both during the day and before bed. One of his favourite books of this charming scruffy dog is Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack. This was one of the first Hairy Maclary books we got about 18 months ago and it has remained a firm favourite since.
About the author
According to Penguin who publishes the Hairy Maclary books Lynley Dodd is from New Zealand, she originally worked as an Art teacher but started to illustrate books when she gave up work to start a family she then progressed on to writing and illustrating books. She describes the process of writing the Hairy Maclary books as using her "'ideas antennae' to collect anything that takes my fancy" to then use these ideas to combine pictures and the words from the very start to produce the story.
About the book
This is the story of Hairy Maclary trying to avoid a young yellow duckling called Zachary Quack. The reason he wants to avoid him is that he wants an afternoon snooze in peace. However no matter where he hides the young duckling always finds him. It's a bit like being a parent really if you need five minutes to do something without the children they will inevitably want to find you in that moment. However the ending of the story sees the duckling showing Hairy Maclary how to get out of the river before they both settle down for an afternoon snooze together.
Our experience and thoughts on the book
As with all Hairy Maclary books the energetic watercolor and ink illustrations just leap off the page. Dodd seems to capture in a dynamic way the movement of Hairy Maclary as leaps and skedaddles away from Zackary Quack. The expressions on both of the animals faces as Hairy tries to hide in things like the shed and bushes is just adorable. It actually makes me think of the cheeky looks and smiles on the face for my son and his friends as they try to play hide and seek and are waiting to be found and peer around corners to find each other. One of the pictures that always makes my son comment is the pages when Hairy comes out of the water and is following Zachary Quack along a fern and leafy glade. The poor doggie is definitely as the words say "soggy and shivering" my son always says in some form or another poor dog, sad, all wet. The poor dog is the illustrations that normally have Hairy Maclary all full of bouncy light and messy hair have instead him just a flat soggy messy of dog hair that is dripping wet. The picture is so full of life that you can almost smell wet dog coming off the pages. The final illustrations always gets comments too as they are both curled up together in the shade as the bees lazily buzz around them. I often get told now to hush as they are sleeping! The fact that the illustrations bring out such comments I think is wonderful and show how well the author with a few strokes of a pen and some paint creates pictures that leap off the page and captures my son's imagination.
The story as with all Hairy Maclary stories is told in the form of a poem. There is a slight chorus with this one in the form of "pittery pattery, skittery scattery, ZIP round the corner came Zachary Quack" and this always heralds the arrival of Zachary Quack as he find Hairy. My son identifies with this and tries to join in some of the words as the little duckling and he find Hairy in his hiding spot on the page. The language used in the story is all wonderfully evocative and capture the feel of the day and the antics beautifully. From the very beginning with it being "drowsily warm with dozens of bees lazily buzzing through flowers and trees" you identify immediately with Hairy's wish to have a snooze in the shade. The words as always with these books act as a perfect companion to the pictures and it is easy for young children to identify with them and follow the story. As with a lot of the Hairy Maclary books there are a lot of words that are perhaps not in common use such as footle skedaddled, skiitery and scattery but these are great for expanding vocabulary and are chosen I think with care by the author to give a sense of fun and frolic and rich description to the stories that doesn't patronize the adult or the child reader. One of my favorite bits is the "Scrabbling upwards ad slithering back....." as I think with these words you can sense and feel the efforts that go into trying to get out but the stomach sliding downwards sense of a muddy tummy and paws as Hairy fails in his endeavors. Now I am not going to claim that my 3 years old can say all of these words that are read to him but he does seem to understand the context and meaning in which they are said in the story and he does occasionally try to say some of them when we are doing things which to me demonstrates his enjoyment of the story.
The age range this book is aimed is 2-6 years old and my son at 3 definitely falls into this and finds it very appealing. I do hope as he gets older and develops his reading skills that he will find this a good book to learn to read by himself. He does at times love just looking through the book by him at the pictures and giggling away. The book we have is the board book version of this story so it has survived being read by him in a toddler way without any damages.
Overall and recommendation
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has read and enjoyed other Hairy Maclary books as it is full of the same delightful pictures and lyrical words that capture a huge sense of frolic and fun. If you haven't read any of these books before I think this one is a good introduction as it is a delightful introduction to Hairy Maclary books and his friend Zachary Quack who it has to be said does appear in some other books with Hairy. The author uses words that brilliantly capture a sense of movement and the warmth of a hot day. The illustrations as always are a perfect companion to the verses. It is a five star book from both my son and I
Here are the details of the board book version as that is the one we have it is one sale on Amazon at present for £3.74 new or from £1.94 on Amazon Marketplace used.
Board book: 16 pages
Publisher: Puffin (5 Aug 2004)
"It was drowsily warm with dozens of bees, lazily buzzing through flowers and trees, Hairy Maclary decided to choose a space in the shade for his afternoon snooze"
So begins perhaps my favourite of all the Lynley Dodd books that I have enjoyed reading to my children at bedtime over the last few years. I could probably recite the whole of the rest of this well thumbed book by heart if so inclined, but still enjoy turning the pages every time that it features in our nightly reading ritual.
This isn't the first Hairy Maclary book, Lynley Dodd wrote, by my reckoning there are about another 7 featuring the loveable scruffy dog and his adventures with a motley band of dogs before this one, the story of how his afternoon nap is disturbed by a rather persistent duck. Our hero, Hairy Maclary, finds his siesta interrupted by "Zachary Quack" who wants to play. Hairy hides in various garden haunts, only to be disturbed each time, and what turns into a game of "hide and seek" as Hairy tries to elude his feathered friend wannabee, eventually sees Hairy needing help from Zachary and peace being restored.
In characteristic rhyming style, each short and lovingly crafted page of this book is jammed full of language being used in the most amazing way; this author doesn't patronise the young reader and uses some fantastically descriptive real and invented words that are sheer joy to read. From the oft repeated "pittery pattery, skittery scattery, ZIP" which heralds the arrival of Zachary each time he appears in the story, to the easily understood image of the dog with "springs in his knees" this book is superbly written. I love the author's use of sound, "soggy and shivering" is the perfect description of the picture of Hairy Maclary after a dip in the water towards the end of this story with a happy ending.
Talking of the illustrations, they are beautifully crafted too - they are the author's own work, she is an artist as well as a writer apparently. The pictures are simple line drawn images that are quite refreshingly muted compared to most children's books. They are full of little details, in all of her books you will find that the characters almost look like they could move off the page, and in this particular book Hairy seems in his element if you have met him before, and Zachary comes fully to life in a full short pages.
It's probably pretty obvious that I love this book, being a children's book it is perhaps more important that the target audience enjoys it too - both my children have loved this book and continue to enjoy it as much as me, my eldest is more than happy to read it to her younger sibling who normally joins in with gusto. It's definitely one of those books we will keep for the next generation.
I thoroughly recommend getting hold of a copy of this book if you have children from the age of about 2 -5. This book and others in the series are widely available and, in my opinion, at least one deserves to feature in every child's library. "The Book People" sometimes sell lovely collections of Hairy Maclary books, but if I were to have to choose one book out of all the Lynley Dodd books, it would be this one. This book is a must for all!
This is my favourite of all of the Hairy Maclary books. Hairy Maclary (HM) is a shaggy little dog who lives in Donaldson's Dairy. Lynley Dodd, his creator, has written a number of books in rhyme chronicling the adventures of HM and his pals, as well as the neighbourhood cats.
Part of the magic is in the characterisation, and this book is no exception. HM is peacefully having a little snooze, when he is disturbed by a little duck, called Zachary Quack. Zachary just wants to play, bu HM is in the mood for a bit of peace and quiet, and the book is spent with HM running away but getting found time and time again. Finally, at the end, Zachary helps HM out and they relax together.
It's a lovely book, quite short, and really well written. I used to read this to my son on a very regular basis. It was one that he would request before he could read himself, as it has nice lilting rhymes. Indeed, this is the same with most of Dodd's books featuring HM and his friends. There are a couple that don't work quite as well, but this one is marvellous, and has a clever way of ending it with similar wording to how it began.
The illustrations are lovely as well, with care taken over the intricacies with all of the animals, while the background is given less emphasis, blending in. It makes you focus more on the characters which, of course, is the main aim of the books. The colours are vibrant and appealing to kids.
I highly recommend these books for kids of any ages, if you are reading them as stories. You could start from baby age, if you wanted, and they're probably suitable up until they start reading themselves, by which time they're still quite a good one for them to practice. There are some tricky words mixed in with the simple ones, so it's not overly basic, and is no doubt aimed more for parents to read to kids and for kids learning about rhymes.
Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack is currently available from amazon.co.uk for £3.71. I have the board book version, which has lasted very well. The paperback versions of these books are also durable, and they are sort of A5 size, and read in a landscape format. Highly recommended.
This is a beautifully crafted, endearing and well-paced story which will particularly appeal to pre-schoolers. The comical illustrations bring the characters to life and complement the text perfectly. The plot is roughly as follows:
Hairy Maclary is enjoying some "me-time" in a quiet shady spot, when up pops Zachary Quack, full of energy and ready to play. There follows a canter around Hairy Maclary's favourite hiding places, each time being hotly pursued by Zachary Quack. The chase gathers momentum and you'll find yourself reading faster and faster! The end of the book brings the tale full circle and slows the pace right down again - perfect as a bedtime story.
I bought this book as a board book when my son was still really a baby. It has stood the test of time - now he's three this remains a favourite. If you don't have it in your collection I would strongly recommend it.
This is another brilliant book by Lynley Dodd who has delighted children for years with the series of Hairy Maclary books.
Lynley Dodd has written and illustrated a large number of outstanding children's books.
~ Who is Hairy Maclary? ~
For those of you who have never come across Hairy Maclary (HM), he is a dog.
He's a black / grey shaggy, long haired small dog who certainly looks as if he could do with a once over at the dog beauticians!
Not being a dog expert, I'm not sure of his breed but I think he's a bit of a Heinz 57, although that statement may well be totally un PC!
HM has great big 'puppy dog' eyes, very skinny legs and the cutest of little upturned noses, totally adorable.
~ The Story ~
HM finds a lovely spot in the shade for his afternoon snooze on a hot summer day but................'pittery, pattery, skittery, scattery ZIP round the corner came Zachary Quack'.
Zachary Quack is a little duck that really wants HM to play with him but HM runs away from the duck.
And so begins the chase. HM hides in all kinds of places, e.g. the shed and the long grass but each time Zachary Quack finds him and so to the next spot.
In his efforts to get away from Zachary Quack, HM jumps in to the water but he can't get out until Zachary Quack shows him the best place to get out of the water.
Off he goes all 'soggy and shivering' and finds a place in the shade for his snooze:
'He dozily dreamed as he lay on his back..............tucked up together with Zachary Quack.'
~ Style and Age Range ~
I have read most of the books in this series from 3 to 6 year olds and they have never failed to delight the children.
The book is alternate pages of text and illustrations that work alongside the text to tell the story.
The whole story is told in rhyme which is great for encouraging children to join in after the first or second reading and commit much of the text to memory.
There is also repetitive text, a 'chant' that young children really enjoy joining in with: 'pittery, pattery, skittery, scattery, ZIP round the corner came Zachary Quack'.
What I particularly like is the fact that Lynley Dodd manages to use some very descriptive words in the book which are 'new' to a lot of children , e.g. floundered, drowsily etc so it's great with the older children to encourage their literary / vocabulary skills.
It's also great for looking at onomatopoeia with older KS1 children, e.g pittery, pattery, skittery, scattery & ZIP etc.
~ Illustrations ~
As with all of her books, the illustrations in this particular one are brilliant and delight both children and adults.
There is so much going on the drawings but what I really like are the huge eyes of Hairy Maclary as he tries to hide in all sorts of different places, the sheer panic and effort involved is really well depicted!
~ Price ~
My paperback ISBN: 0-14-056773-9 cost £4.99 but amazon are selling used and new ones from just 1p!!
There is also a boardbook available from amazon, used and new from £1.76. This style of book is particularly good for young 'little' hands that can sometimes accidentally rip the thinner pages in standard paperbacks.
~ Other Hairy Maclary Books ~
HM from Donaldson's Dairy
HM caterwaul caper
HM's rumpus at the vet
This book will not fail to disappoint you and I am yet to meet a child that hasn't enjoyed the books in the series.
The books have it all, funny stories and great illustrations.
Zachary Quack, a small and determined duckling, sets out to play with a rather reluctant Hairy Maclary. A cat and mouse chase follows, with the two characters ending up peacefully snuggled together after Zachary Quack saves a soggy Hairy Maclary from the river.