Newest Review: ... watercolor and ink illustrations just leap off the page. Dodd seems to capture in a dynamic way the movement of Hairy Maclary as leap... more
This book is full of frolic and fun
Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack - Lynley Dodd
Member Name: jillycat
Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack - Lynley Dodd
Advantages: Wonderful illustrations and a lovely story
Disadvantages: none for my son and I
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)
Summary: Hairy Maclary plays hide and seek with Zachary Quack in this wonderful tale