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Hairy Maclary is a scruffy looking dog who lives at Donaldson's dairy. He is the main character in a series of books written by Lynley Dodd, describing every day events that happen in this dog's life. They are events that are familiar when you are reading them to your child. This particular story involves Hairy Maclary taking a trip to the vet's surgery because he has a sore leg in a bandage. The waiting room is packed with lots of different animals, and when Cassie the cockatoo gets a bit bored, she tweaks something she sees wiggling, which happens to be Hairy Maclary's tail. This causes a whole lot of chaos when all of the animals go a bit crazy.
As an adult, this is an amusing situation as I know myself how my own cat and dog get stressed out about being in the Vet's waiting room, so you can just imagine this actually happening somewhere, and leaving everyone bewildered by the chaos.
As a child, the story is told in rhyming text, which is an absolute delight to read. The text is not contrived in any way to make it rhyme, the story just flows beautifully.
"Down at the Vet's
there were all kinds of pets,
with troubles and woes
from their ears to their toes."
While there are some long words in there that the kids would have no hope of understanding, like cantankerous, mournful, and rickety, they add to the musicallity of the rhyme. This is a really jolly book, and fun to read to the kids, and plays along to them wanting you to read again and again because just as the vet calms everyone down, Cassie is still rattled and she sees something move again. So when we finish, I can talk with the kids about what they think will happen next at the Vet's. We can empathise with all the poorly animals, and the vet who is trying to calm it all down, and laugh at the same time at the funny things that are happening.
The text is roughly 4 lines of rhyme per page, with a full colour page of illustration to show what is happening so even if the younger child does not know what the words mean exactly, they get a pretty good idea about what is going on.
I think the whole range of books in the series are lovely, and for about £6 per book, they are well worth. They are a decent length to hold a child's attention while you read to them, with good quality paper so they don't wear too quickly from little hands turning the pages, and the stories definitely make me want to spend time reading to my kids. We have picked up other stories from the library as the kids have enjoyed the two we own so much. I think that is a good sign when the kids pick them up and want you to read it to them.
For one of my daughters' birthday she was given a set of 6 Hairy Maclary books in a lovely carry satchel with a CD and this was one of the books included. The hairy Maclary series is written and illustrated by Lynley Dodd who is an author from new Zealand who was at one time a teacher, the books are published by Puffin Books and was first published in 1989 in new Zealand and then published in the UK in 1991.
The book, Rumpus at the Vets has a picture of Hairy Maclary looking very innocent with his paw in a sling and a lot of mess at the bottom of the picture, the picture is surrounded by a blue diamond patterned border. Inside the front cover of the book like the rest of the series there are little pictures of each of the six dogs that appear throughout the books with little sayings that go with them, there is Hercules Morse as big as a horse, Bottomley Potts covered in spots, Bitzer Maloney all skinny and bony, Schnitzel von Krumm with a very low tum, Muffin Mclay like a bundle of hay and of course hairy Maclary from Donaldsons dairy. Whenever we read these books we have to go through the name and rhyme for each character and then my daughter tries to repeat them from memory as being 3 year old she is unable to read at the moment. I like the fact that the same characters are used throughout all the books as it means that my daughter remembers the names and thinks she is really clever when she does get them right.
This book is about Hairy Maclary going to the vets, the first page of the story you see all is calm at the vets and hairy Maclary is sat with his paw in a sling surrounded by other animals and cages, one of the cages is placed very close to hairy Maclary which is the cause of the following mayhem. There are a couple of pages of description of the scene at the vets using lovely describing words such as cantankerous and snuffles, the fun begins when one of Hairy Maclary's tail hairs is pulled by a bird in the aforementioned cage and all hell breaks loose. Hairy Maclary jumps up knocking over a bowl of mice followed by bottoms of cages dropping off and allowing birds to go free, cats jumping from baskets and kittens escaping over the vets join in the chaos and then finally all the dogs join in. The vet comes to see the problem and trying to sort the mayhem ends up landing on the floor herself, the book ends with the bird in the cage seeing something move again and giving it a tweak needless to say this is once again Hairy Maclarys tail and you are then left to imagine what chaos the second tweaking will cause.
In the back cover of the book you can see a further 5 books that belong in the series which my daughter likes to point out which ones she has and also gives a little description of what happens in each book so I like this being in the back cover as it helps her memory skills. I love the way each of these books rhymes which makes the story flow nicely, the story is fast paced and you can get that from the flow of the words, I also like that the pictures are so detailed that the story can really be told from the pictures which my daughter also likes to do. My daughter really loves these books and I am hoping that I can track down some more from the range for her birthday in a few weeks.
Some of you may already be aware that I am a great believer in reading with your child in the hope that they develop a love for books and reading. I am lucky that my son does like books and is a very able reader for his age and so I will often pick up books as a gift for birthdays and Christmases for him. A couple of Christmases ago I picked up a set containing a few Hairy Maclary books and the book I am reviewing today is Hairy Maclary rumpus at the vets.
The book is a paperback with a recommended retail price of £5.99. You can pick the book up on amazon for £3.76 with free delivery. Written by Lynley Dodd the books front cover features a picture of a quite embarrassed looking Hairy Maclary standing surrounded by a couple of cat and a mess on the vets floor!
The story is about a trip to the vets that Hairy Maclary, the small black dog, must make. In the vets are various kinds of animals but after a nip to the tail from a cockatoo Hairy jumps and all manner of mayhem begins as things fall over and things!
This story is actually very funny-even as an adult (ok an adult who acts like a child still at times!) I giggled when the vet came out all official insisting that she would fix everything but managed to trip up over a lead instead! My five year old son is obviously amused by this too and all of the chaos that precedes it so it is really an enjoyable experience sharing this book as we both sit and giggle.
Like all Hairy Maclary books this book is written in a rhyming flowing way for much of the book. I think the rhyming just makes it enjoyable to read as it seems to just flow well. There are also "fun" words such as kerfuffle and scampered included in there which just seem to make it seem exciting to read. I tend to read this story to my son at quite a fast pace as I think you can portray the chaos in the story better this way and he seems to enjoy it being read to him this way.
The illustrations in the book are colourful and well drawn. The expressions on some of the animals faces are really funny to look at as well as it seems to make them appear almost human in some cases. The illustrations do an excellent job of portraying the mayhem going on in the vets waiting room and are really enjoyable to look at.
All in all I really do recommend this book as it is funny and there is a lot going on in it. My son still enjoys it and so I would say it is ideal for children aged from around three to around seven or eight.
Thank you for reading my review!
My three year old loves having stories read to him both during the day and before bed. One of his favourite characters to hear about is Hairy Maclary. This book was part of a Hairy Mclary gift set we got him for part of his Christmas presents and it is a firm favourite of his already.
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
Now as anyone who has ever taken a pet to the vet will know there is often an ill matched assortment of animals in there with the potential to cause maximum chaos and it upon this premises that the story is based on. Hairy Maclary for those of you who don't know is a small black dog with rather wild and scruffy hair and he has several doggie friends all of which are illustrated on the inside of the book. Not all of them appear in this book though. The instigator of the riot and chaos is poor Cassie the cockatoo locked in her cage. She tweaks a hair from Hairy Maclary and this sets of a chain of events as the animals free themselves from their restraints and cavort full of frolics and fun. This is till the vet tries to get control on the situation but never quiet manages due to Cassie's troublesome beak.
Why we love it
This book is a firm favourite of my sons since we got it. He has had unfortunately had to accompany me and our now deceased cat to a fair few vet appointments so the concept of animals in a waiting room is one he is familiar with. I think this adds to the appeal for him as he is used to seeing cats and dogs misbehaving at the vets but not to the extent I have to say of Hairy Maclary and his friends.
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 the animals as they get up to their various antics. For example the illustration that accompanies a "scramble of paws, a tangle of bodies, and a jumble of jaws. With Squawking and yowling and a mournful miaow" is positively full of life and sparkle as we see four dogs in a friendly wrestling match of bodies as the try to remain upright and not tangled in their leads. This is combined beautifully with flapping budgies scrambling kittens and a menacing cat that is trying to get a bite out of poor Muffin Mclay. It is these animated antics with all the associated expressive animal faces that give the book just so much appeal for my son. He loves looking at the pictures to find new things or just to smile and laugh at the chaos they are causing. I personally find them wonderful as it seems that with just a few strokes of a pen and some paint that they leap of the page. The animals are not overly intricate or complex but are actually quite fresh and simple. Now I am sure they are not simple to do having tried to do watercolors in the past myself and failed miserably but that is how they appear to me. The illustrations of the pet's owners in this book are all of their legs giving it very much a dog's eye and small child's eye view of the antics and rumpus. This also gives it more fun I think as it makes it even easier for the children to see and identify with the action and the commotion. However even with it being just the owners legs Dodd still manages to catch the thoughts of these people and you can see people trying to leap out of the way of the mice especially.
The story as with all Hairy Maclary stories is told in the form of a poem. What this means is that the words just seem to flow magnificently as they are read aloud. There are lots of rhymes to it too, with dogs such as Noodle the Poodle. The words do have quiet a fast rhyme to them rather like a train going down the track and I have to make sure I slow down to allow my son to enjoy the pictures and fully appreciate the story. Equally there are some words that it I say them too fast I end up getting tongue tied, the bit of verse that comes to mind to illustrate this "cantankerous cats, a rabbit with pimples and rickety rats." My son loves listening to the story and I think the use of rhyme seems to help with his listen skills. Some of the words used by Dodd include words that are not often said in everyday conversation like bumbled troublesome and by the inclusion of these I find it does help with him extending his language skills too.
My son loves how this story is full of fun and the way the various animals get up to mischief in the pandemonium at the vets but as well as laughing at the story as the dogs cats and mice scamper, he also is concerned that the animals are alright. He is always concerned about will the Parkinson Kittens falling off the shelf and rails. I think the author demonstrates a lot of skill to get my son to feel a mixture of emotions when reading this 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 hope as he gets older and develops his reading skills that he will find this a good book to learn some words from and to read to himself. He does at times love just looking through the book by himself at the pictures and giggling away.
This is a wonderful children's book that my son and I would wholehearted recommend to other parents of children in the 2-6 year old bracket. It is full of whimsical rhyming verse that is full of fun and entertainment to read. This is complemented by endearing and imaginative illustrations of a scruffy little dog getting up to mischief with his friends at the vets.
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Puffin; Re-issue edition (13 Feb 2009)
Currently on sale on Amazon for £3.99 new and from 1 penny used on Amazon market place
My mum bought this book for my kids and when she brought it round I initially wasn't too impressed. It looked quite long winded and I wasn't sure if it would hold my youngests attention for long.
The story is by Lynley Dodd and she has written quite a few stories about the adventures of Hairy Maclary. The price on the back of the book is £4.99.
The story is about Hairy Maclary- a scruffy dog who is at the vets waiting to be seen. The waiting room is full of other animals and when Cassie the cockatoo sees something moving she decides to give it a peck with her beak. That something turns out to be a hair from Hairy Maclarys tail and total pandemonium follows!
The book is quite fast paced and the story is told in rhyme. The words flow easily and the children were quite entranced by the total chaos that was described.
There are 15 pages of text and opposite every page of text is an illustration. The pictures are very well done and capture the mess perfectly. My son lost interest in the story after a while but he still enjoyed looking at the pictures.
I found this book when my daughter was learning to read, due to the fast paced feel and the similar sounding words "With squawking and yowling and mournful miaow" meant that she was forced to take her time and read carefully instead of rushing the story and getting the words wrong.
My children have enjoyed this book but it was never one of their favourites. My son would quickly lose interest in the story and although my daughter enjoyed it it was never a first choice at bedtime.
My daughters and I first came across a small dog called Hairy Maclary when reading the book 'Hairy Maclary at Donaldson's Dairy' a while ago. He is a character created by Lynley Dodd and he features in a number of delightful picture books aimed at small children. Although all the books feature the same main character, they do all seem to be stand alone books. However my daughters do seem quite determined to read the full set. The latest book we have read is 'Hairy Maclary's Rumpus at the Vets'.
As the title implies, Hairy Maclary finds himself at the vets one day with one leg and paw heavily bandaged. Lots of other animals are there too, waiting with their owners to have their ailments seen too. One such creature is Cassie the cockatoo who must have been feeling a little bored waiting in her cage because she something furry that is twitching so she gives it a tweak! That one tweak (which happens to be on Hairy Maclary's tail) leads to a catastrophic chain of events - hence the title 'Rumpus at the Vets'.
When Cassie tweaks Hairy's tail, he jumps high in the air and knocks over a bowl of mice. The mice run into a lady holding a budgies' cage that fly out when the bottom drops off! The flapping birds cause a cat called Grizzly MacDuff to leap out of his basket and so it goes on. Soon there are animals everywhere and there is absolute mayhem. The final thing that happens is when Geezer the goat thunders into Cassie (remember her?) the cockatoo's cage. This makes her mad but as she rattles her cage, she sees something twitch so she reaches out to give it a tweak..... Can you guess what it is? Yes, it's Hairy Maclary's tail and although this is where the story ends you can imagine what continues to happen at the vets!
As you can see, this story is a lot of fun and has both my daughters in giggles. Also the story is written in rhyme with some very descriptive language that all adds to the overall effect of the story. We all love the rhyme in this story and the way it is put together and paced is very clever. This is an example from the beginning of the story:
Down at the Vet's
There were all kinds of pets,
With troubles and woes
From their ears to their toes.
Sniffles and snuffles
And doses of flu,
Itches and stitches
And tummy aches too.
There is lots of lovely language and alliterative phrases fro children to enjoy getting their tongues around. It is a really enjoyable read. There are also some wonderful illustrations that make you want to linger on every page. Also these really help to add to the telling of the story and there is a lot of humour in all of the pictures.
Overall, this is a great book to share with small children. It is likely to appeal to both boys and girls and has a great main character with a very cheeky appearance. Both my daughters and I thoroughly recommend this story, along with all the other Hairy Maclary adventures too!
New Zealand author Lynley Dodd has won awards for her books chronicling the adventures of scruffy terrier Hairy Maclary and his friends. The books are written in rhyming prose and are accompanied with cheeky illustrations on each page.
In Hairy Maclary's Rumpus At The Vet, we see Hairy Maclary and some other recognisable characters (if you have read the other books) at the vet. One thing leads to another, and Cassie the Cockatoo cannot resist tweaking a tail flapping within reach. Thus ensues an avalanche of mess resulting in the vet's being left in complete mess. For once, Hairy Maclary isn't the culprit or even the main character. He is just one of many involved in the chaos.
The book is marvellous in terms of entertainment value and even educational value. It teaches children the familiar and regularity of rhythmn and is a lovely tale. My son loved the Hairy Maclary books when he was 2 years old. Now he is 4, he still has them read to him occasionally at bedtime, but you can see the influence of something that appeals to kids in that he loves rhyming books read to him, and Hairy Maclary were among the first he showed positive reaction to.
The book cost us £4.99 from Waterstone's. It is quite pricey for a kids' book, especially one that is quite short, but it is worth having for your child.
If you have read Hairy Maclary (HM) you will not fail to be disappointed with this book, another in the series by Lynley Dodd.
She has written and illustrated a huge number of brilliant books in the HM series and all have stood the test of time and are still well loved by children of today.
~ Who is Hairy Maclary? ~
For those of you who haven't been fortunate enough to come across HM, he is a dog.
The illustrations make him look very lovable and cuddly. He's a black / grey (I know the feeling!) very long, shaggy haired small dog who looks as if he could do with a good once over at the dog beauticians! I'm not sure of his breed but I think he's a bit of a Heinz 57 (apologies to anyone for whom that phrase isn't PC)
He has great big 'puppy dog' eyes, very skinny legs and the cutest of little upturned noses.
~ Style and Age Range ~
I have read this to 3 - 6 year olds and they have all loved it. There are some very descriptive words in this book which are 'new' to most children, e.g. bumbled, scampered, mournful, cantankerous etc so it's great with the older children to encourage their literary skills.
But if you just want a fun rhythmic book to read aloud then this is great.
It's also a great tool for encouraging children to listen to and identify rhyme and makes it easy for them to join in with the story after the first or second reading.
There are alternate pages of text and pictures.
~ The Story ~
HM had to go to the vets where;
'there were all kinds of pets, with troubles and woes from their ears to their toes.'
So begins a list of animals that were in the waiting room at the vets.
Cassie the cockatoo starts the rumpus by pulling HM's tail which makes him jump in to the air, this knocks over a bowl full of mice, the fussy budgies fly out of their cage and the cat jumps out to catch them.
Suddenly all of the animals forget their ailments and join in with the chase and the fun:
What a kerfuffle,
a scramble of paws
a tangle of bodies
a jumble of jaws.
With squawking and yowling
and mournful miaow
they really were making
a TERRIBLE row.
The vet comes out and says she will fix them but instead she falls over and so it continues.
So there you have it, what a hell of a rumpus at the vets!
~ Illustrations ~
These are brilliant. Not only is Lynley Dodd a talented author but her illustrations can't help but delight both adults and children.
There is so much going on in the drawings that there's a lot to discuss.
What I like about it is the fact that only the legs of the owners can be seen, moving in different directions etc in an attempt to get away from the complete bedlam that the animals are creating. You can just imagine what their faces would be like but the legs are enough to show their annoyance and disbelief!
~ Price ~
My Puffin paperback ISBN: 0-14-054240-X cost £4.99 but visit www.amazon.co.uk for some bargains:
Paperbacks used and new from just 1p so even with postal charges it's a big saving!
Hardcovers from 1.50
Audio - Book and CD from 4.04
~ Hairy Maclary (HM) books ~
HM and Zachary Quack
HM and friends
These books will not fail to disappoint you and I haven't met a child yet who doesn't enjoy these books and joining in with them!
The Hairy Maclary books have it all, funny stories and great illustrations.