“ Authors: Fiona Watt,Rachel Wells / Format: Board book / Date of publication: 26 November 1999 / Genre: Early Learning & Concepts / Subcategory: Picture & Activity Books / Category: First Experiences / Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd / Title: That's Not My Puppy / ISBN 13: 9780746037782 / ISBN 10: 0746037782 / Alternative title: Touchy Feely Books: That's Not My Puppy - Fiona Watt / Alternative ISBN 10: 0746037783 „
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Well in our daughter's case it certainly is. She loves our dog Max and her face lights up when he is near, she giggles at him when he kisses her hands or plays with his toys and loves to stroke him.
So much so that her Nana brought her this book- That's not my puppy by Fiona Wyatt. My mum paid £5.99 from WH Smiths but is widely available in other shops and online. There are a number of books in the That's not my range.
That's not my puppy is a board book with beautiful bright coloured illustrations and touchy feely pages and is very sturdy and well made as well as easy to wipe clean. The front cover has a very hairy panel and says "Thats not my puppy...its coat is too hairy" and the rest of the book continues in this vein with each double page having a touchy feeling panel.
My daughter is 7 months and loves to interact with us by touching the panels as we read the book. However a couple of the panels are quite small for her to touch so she needs a little help. Also the bumpy texture does not feel bumpy which is a shame.
However I can see us getting lots of joy out of this book for quite some time to come and we would certainly now buy others in the range as we have really enjoyed this book. As she gets older it will be useful and fun way to help teach her about different textures and their names.
This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.
After hearing that the 'Usborne touchy-feely' books are a hit with my daughter we seem to have gathered most of the series. I was initially concerned that she would grow bored of them as she is now 18 months old and slowly getting into being read stories with intricate illustrations alongside them. However, 'That's not my puppy' is still a big hit in our house.
The Usborne touchy-feely books follow a simple formula that seems to please most children under the age of 2. Each page of the books has a bold, colourful picture of a different style of puppy, and since my daughter is somewhat animal-mad this suits her perfectly. We have taught her the word 'dog' over time though so instead of saying 'puppy' when we read the book to her, we say 'dog'.
On the first page of the book is a poodle with a fluffy tail. My daughter loves running her finger over the book to find where the different textures are. This book is also excellent for teaching her different parts of animals; on the next page we get to feel the puppy's bumpy paws, and so on. There is a mouse hidden on each page and she loves to find this too and make squeaky noises. This book is ideal for any time but works great at bedtime as I can 'read' it to her several times without losing my voice, as there is not much wording in it. There is enough content however to enthrall my daughter for a while, and her absolute favourite page is the last one because of the puppy's squashy nose, which she loves to press, and finds funny, I expect because she knows what a nose is and likes pressing her own as well (though it is a lot less squashy!).
This book, as with all of the same series, is a hardcover without sharp edges and with thick, easy-to-turn pages. It is also hardy and has withstood a few falls, and is easy to clean due to the smooth cardboard pages.
The book costs £5.99, which I wouldn't normally spend on a book of this style, however it was purchased new for my daughter because of her interest in the other books in this series, and because of her love of dogs. These books can be found online for lower prices, so it is worth shopping around before purchasing. I highly recommend them for babies upto 18 months of age, although we have a 2 year old friend who likes to 'read' them when she comes over. I will certainly pack them away safely when my daughter starts showing less interest in them, so that other children can enjoy them as much as my daughter has done.
We have several of these books in our house. When Hope was a baby we had lots for her and now for Baby M we have some for him too, both of them have really enjoyed reading these books. They are perfectly designed for young babies and very enjoyable for parents to read with them too. It's no wonder they are so popular really.
These books are written by Fiona Watt. She has written many very young children's books and they all seem to have an interactive element so help to improve children's sense of touch.
***That's Not My...***
The That's Not My books are a series of books which follow the same concept. Books in the series include:
*That's not my Puppy
*That's not my bear
*That's not my fairy
*that's not my truck
*That's not my Santa
*that's not my Dragon
As well as many more. They all follow the same concept which is straight forward and easy to follow. Throughout the book it reads "That's not my X it's X is too..." And then an adjective is used to describe a part of it and then the picture on the page is made so that that part is a particular texture. Each page is the same but with a different texture and then on the final page the wording changes to "That's my X!" It is really easy to follow, it isn't a complicated story at all so children can enjoy looking at the pictures and feeling the various textures.
Throughout this book we see various different puppies. On each page there is a different one "That's not my puppy... it's paws are too bumpy!" Is one example, on this page the puppy's paws have a bumpy, bobbly texture. Another example is "That's not my puppy it's tail is too fluffy!" And the tail has a lovely fluffy material for babies to feel. Each page is very basic, there is not loads to look at but very basic drawings and bold backgrounds so that your baby is not overwhelmed with detail. It is very well designed with very little minds at heart. The writing isn't all that large but that is fine as it means that children can just enjoy looking at the animals instead of being distracted by details of writing! It is very colourful which helps to capture little ones attention and very cute. It is one of my favourite books in this series.
These books are ideal for very young children. We started to read them to our children even when they were under 6 months old. We would move their hands over the textured parts so they could experience different materials. This helped them to explore and develop their sense of touch which is really important. We also helped to show them how to turn pages of books and would point to various words. The children may have been very young at the time but it is never too soon to start to show children how to use books and what their value is. It also helps to show children how to concentrate. The book is not long- usually around 10 pages so it's just long enough to hold a very young child's imagination and attention which will help them to develop this more later in life.
Yes this book is definitely entertaining! When we read this Baby M likes to reach for the page part which is textured so he can explore it. His face always lights up when we get to the bobbly paw page, and he loves trying to turn the pages by himself. He is now old enough to hold the book himself and turn the pages so he really likes these. They are slightly larger than a CD case and he can just about manage this size. When we read it together he likes to laugh when pages are turned and sometimes we read it several times over he enjoys it so much. It definitely has the entertainment factor for a young child.
These books are aimed towards very young children. They are made so that they are toddler tough which is vital. Toddlers and babies like to put things in their mouths and this includes books! This is very robust, it's thick so that if your child does gnaw on it it will still remain in tact and because the book is board it cannot be ripped nor can it give papercuts to little delicate fingers as pages are turned. This means that your child can enjoy this book without hurting themselves or damaging the pages. One thing that could get damaged is some of the textured materials such as the fluffy dog on the front, if juice is spilt on it then the book can be wiped clean but the actual fluffy dog itself won't be able to. It is a good size for small children to hold and enjoy, they are able to reach the parts on the book that are textured unlike if it was a large book then they may struggle to reach. It is quite heavy for very little hands to hold so be careful that your little one doesn't manage to drop it on themselves as it could leave a little bump!
In summary these books are lovely. This particular book is great for either boys or girls and the different textures are very interesting for little people to explore. I think that these are really good books which can last a while, Hope still enjoys looking at hers now even though she is nearly 4. They cost around £5 each but sometimes you can find them in packs for much cheaper. I think £5 is actually quite a reasonable price as they are very good quality books and like I say can be enjoyed for several years. We have got so many in our collection now and so have lots of my friends so I can see why though as they are very cute, entertaining and toddler friendly.
As a busy mum of 2 daughters, 5 years old and 21 months, I am always on the look out for a bargain. We are very lucky in that our local PDSA charity shop sells children's books for £0.10 each - that certainly qualifies as a bargain in m book (no pun intended). On one occasion visiting the shop I was lucky enough to come across a cop of That's Not My Puppy. My youngest daughter loves the "That's not my..." series of books, and we didn't have this one, so I purchased it for her.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the series of books, they are colourful, tactile board books that revolve around a central theme of discounting various version of something - in this case various puppies - and explaining why that is their puppy. For example, "that's not my puppy his collar is too shiny", "that's not my puppy his paws are too bumpy" etc. On each page there is a tactile area for the baby or toddler to explore - a furry ear, a scratchy tongue, a smooth shiny collar. At the end of the book the real puppy is revealed and another tactile area is displayed.
These books can be rather pricy at around £5.99 per board book, but if you can get them at the library or second hand they can be a good bargain. My daughter likes to change between books every day ort so, so I wouldn't pay full price, but for £0.10 this was definitely worth the money!
My baby Granddaughter has quite a lot of books already, even though she is not quite 4 months old. One I like reading to her is called That's not my puppy and it is an Usbourne book, written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells. The book is made of board and about 6.5" square. The outer front cover is red and shiny with a picture of a dog which has a hairy coat made of fur fabric so nice to stroke. There is a tiny mouse on the front too, and it is the mouse that can't find his puppy.
There are 4 pages or boards in side the book and each has something textured to feel, so a child can learn what different things feel like. The first puppy is a pink poodle with a fluffy tail, and then the next puppy has bumpy paws and so on. There isn't a lot to read, but it is repetitive making it excellent for young children, each page saying "That's not my puppy" and the reason why - like It's collar is too shiny or It's ears are too shaggy.
My Granddaughter can stroke the different textures and look at the pictures, with help but obviously her span of attention is short but she is happy to listen, look and touch. As a child gets older they can look for the little mouse on each page and learn new words of other things in the pictures like butterflies, leaves, bumble bees and the dog's bone. Teaching the different colours and counting things can also make this book suitable for toddlers as well. It is a little too heavy for really young children to hold so help is needed.
Usbourne are well known for excellent things for children and this book doesn't disappoint. It is a strong book and hopefully will last several years as my Granddaughter grows up. She is quite used to dogs already as my daughter has a rather large "puppy" that is very protective to this baby who has got lots of toys that he can't play with, books don't interest him fortunately!
This book has a recommended price of £5.99 and ISBN 978-0-7460-3778-2 , but is available on Amazon at only £3.67 with free delivery or used from only 1penny plus £2.80 postage.
This is one in a series of touchy feely books and although they will be similar they are slightly different and fun to read and touch.
You might think that 4 months is too young to have books but it has been proved that the more words children hear the better they will be at speaking. It will also help when they are learning to read and they learn different concepts like numbers, letters and colours. It also is a special time when your baby or child is sitting close to you, hearing your voice and sharing something that is fun and hopefully teaching them that books are worth reading.
What's it all about?
This book is part of the Usborne 'That's not my..' series. This is a series of books which all have a different texture on each of the pages. I was given this book by a friend for my daughter who is nine months old. She is probably the perfect age for this book.
The story is repetitive on each page the sentence begins, 'That's not my puppy..'. This is really useful when you are trying to encourage your child's first few words. It is also a good length for when your baby's attention span is short as it only has five double pages. I found this useful because although a few months ago my little one would sit beautifully for a story, now she wants to be on the go all of the time and it can be hard to hold her attention for more than a few minutes.
I don't know how I feel about the story beginning on the front cover; I can see why this is a good idea for the company trying to sell the books - it will grab children's attention when it is still on the shelf. I suppose I feel that babies are learning about how a book 'works', and usually the story would start once the book is open.
As I mentioned previously, my little girl's attention span is short at the moment and the texture really helps to keep her interested in the story. The texture is different on every page, helping to renew her interest in the story with each page turn.
A very good book to keep your baby's interest in books growing.
Usborne Touchy - Feely Books
I first seen these books when one of my friends daughter was playing with them and I thought they were fantastic so when my daughter was born I though I definitely had to get her one.
My daughter loves books and exploring so I thought it would be great if she could feel different textures in books as well as having them read to her.
This book is a very simple story and 'That's not my puppy' is repeated on each page.
So basically it's a story about looking at different puppies and its not your puppy as the coat is too hairy, tail too fluffy, paws are too bumpy, collar is too shiny and ears are too shaggy.
In the end you find your puppy as his nose is so squashy.
There are 5 pages and the story starts on the front page. So it's a great book for young babies with very little attention span.
My daughter is 9 months and she loves these books. The repetition is good and it makes her more familiar of what puppies look like.
On the front page there is a puppy and his hair is very long so your little one can pull and feel the hair.
The tail on the next puppy is a different colour and is more like cotton wool.
The paws on the next one is a leather like feel with small bumps.
The next puppy has a bright shiny red collar and feels smooth.
The other puppy has shaggy ears for the fur is very long and there is lots of it to feel. It's a messier fur than the first puppy.
The last puppy has a squashy nose which feels like soft pvc and its very shiny and soft to feel.
The pictures in this book are very simple with thick black edges drawn on every object. Every background is a bright vibrant colour with outside things like flowers, leaves, butterflies, bees and a bone in the picture with the dog.
The person who is looking for the dog is a small white mouse so he is on every page. This is who is narrating the book.
I got this book as part of a gift set called the 'That's not my' gift set which cost me £5 from Tesco. I felt this was really good value for money especially as I have seen these books retailing for £5.99 per book.
The only thing I can say is that all in the 'That's not my' range are all very simpler to each other so really you probably only need to buy one of the range. However when they only cost £5 for three in a set I thought there wasn't much to lose.
I like these books as you can read them very animated and my daughter laughs when I read them to her. There isn't many words to read and it can be read reasonably quickly. This is great for short attention spans.
At the start when she was younger I ran her fingers over the different textures however now she goes straight for them all by herself once you open a page. She spends ages by herself as well turning the pages and feeling the textures.
She always loves the shaggy ears as she can really pull the fur. Every page is different and she now knows exactly where to find the texture. At the start I had to show her and move her hands over it.
When the book was first opened I noticed that some of the hairs was lose. So I had to pull out the lose ones just incase my daughter would have put them in her mouth. Since I have done that no other hairs have fallen out of the book thank goodness. It would be advisable to check the book before giving it to your child. I do this every time I let her play with it by herself.
Overall I think this book is great value for money as it is sturdy and withstands being thrown about and little hands being ruff with it. My daughter isn't very gentle with things so they tend to get pulled and torn. This book hasn't got damaged yet as it is well made.
This book is written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells. If you want more information on the book you can go to the usborne website www.usborne.com. The ISBN is 978-0-7460-3778-2.
I had never heard of the Usborne range of "Thats Not My......" books until i had my daughter and for her first Christmas she received the book Thats Not My Puppy. What an absolutely lovely book! The book is a extremely good quality board book and is definately aimed at young children, i would say from birth up until about the age of four maybe. There is a a vast range of the thats not my books, and each book is very bright and colourful with a range of different textures throughout the book.
Thats not my puppy is bright red with a little hairy puppy on the front, and it says "Thats not my puppy......its coat is too hairy". Inside the book each page has textures such as hairy, fluffy, bumpy, shiny, shaggy, and squashy and each texture is in a different place on the puppy, for example shiny collar. Each page sees a different puppy,(poodle and dalmation are just two of them) and the reason why that puppy is not their puppy and the final page of the book sees the right one - Thats my puppy....his nose is so squashy!"
These books are great for little hands and fingers as they are a chunky A5 size and are fantastically hard wearing as they don't bend and has even had a fair bit of chewing!! The stories are short enough to keep the babies attention but long enough to have a real variety of pictures and textures.
Some other books in the range that my daughter has are Thats not my monkey, Thats not my teddy and Thats not my truck. But there are many many books to choose from, even some Christmas ones such as Thats not my santa, Thats not my reindeer and Thats not my snowman. There is a book that would suit every child and while i would say that most of the books aren't for a specific gender, i don't think many boys would appreciate Thats not my princess!!
The books are priced at £5.99 but sometimes you can find them on offer, i recently saw them on 3 for 2 which is a great offer i think, and the price i would say definately reflects the quality of the book too.
Great little books designed to develop the childs senses and in my opinion couldn't be any better!
My little girl is now 18 months old and this series of books still hold their charm. The 'that's not me...' series comprises of 31 different books, see:
http://www.usborne.com/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?cat=1&area=B&subcat=bbtnm for all of them.
'That's not my puppy' is a board book with a red colour theme. On each page is a different puppy along with a reason why that puppy is not your child's puppy. So on the front page it reads, 'That's not my puppy it's coat is too hairy.' On the next page, 'That's not my puppy it's tail is too fluffy' and so on. On the last page it reads, That's my puppy his nose is so squashy.' For each puppy a part of the puppy is made in a different material for your child to feel that corresponds to the words used. So on the first page the puppy's coat is actually hairy!
These books are for birth onwards. I found it excellent in that the text is simple and repetitive and has a nice rhythm when spoken aloud, which is perfect for very young children. I think it is appealing to a young child because of the bright colours and touchy feels parts.
I love all of the 'That's Not My...' books. They're suitable from around 9 months upwards, and I think there are lots of reasons why they're so popular. Firstly, they're very durable - the hard board they're made from can't be bent or damaged easily by little hands. Secondly, they're simple and repetitive, which children love. Thirdly, they're fun. There's a little mouse to be found on every page, as well as something 'touchy-feely' to grab the child's attention. The books are just the right number of pages to keep the child's focus right to the end.
'That's Not My Puppy' was a gift for our daughter's first birthday, and it's lived in her cot ever since. She loves dogs (she's always pointing them out on walks), so the content is fun for her.
I particularly like the page with the shaggy ears - there's no shortage of textures used in these books, and my daughter's very fond of stroking the ears.
These books are reasonably priced, as they last a long time and are great fun. A good buy.
This was recommended to us as a staple part of any baby's library. Anyone with kids in the family will know that these books are hugely popular, and for a good reason. They come from the Usborne touchy-feely series and encourage even tiny babies sensory skills, as each page has a different texture and colours to look at and run their fingers over.
The story follows a little mouse who on each page looks for his puppy. He describes why each dog we meet is not right- the dog on the front cover has a very hairy coat, then the pink poodle's tail is too fluffy, the paws are too bumpy, the collar is too shiny and the ears are too shaggy until we find the right puppy, who has a squashy nose. The story is nice and simple and the illistrations are clear and colourful.
The pages are very tough and have weathered the past year exceptionally well, when some books are a tattered mess by this time. They are sturdy and wipeable and the Feelies are very well intergrated, meaning there are no overhanging flaps that toddlers can pull off.
However, I find this book to be a bit of a let down compared to other ones in the 'that's not my...' series. Apart from the front cover and the shaggy eared dog, the Feelies are very small, which can make it hard for little ones to find.
Saying that, my son adores dogs and I couldn't not include this book, as it is a classic which a whole generation will grow up to have fond memories of.
This is one of the Usborne series of touchy feely books aimed at babies and toddlers. We were given our first "That's not my..." book for Christmas when my son was 4 months old. He really started to enjoy reading them when he was about 9 months. They are now firm favourites in his little collection now that he is 18 months old.
I look for a number of things when I'm buying books for my son. Most importantly it has to be appealing to him. "That's not my puppy" ticks all the right boxes here. We are introduced to five brightly coloured puppies with various touchy feely patches, in the search for our puppy. The terrier on the front cover has a lovely hairy coat, which my son loves to stroke. The front cover reads "That's not my puppy. Its coat is too hairy." This is the theme that continues through the book. We meet a pink poodle (my personal favourite), but it's tail is too fluffy. The yellow labrador's paws are too bumpy. The dalmation's collar is too shiny. The brown spaniel's ears are too shaggy. We finally find our puppy, who has a lovely squashy nose, on the last page.
This book with its brightly coloured pictures, simple words and touchy feely patches is certainly engaging for babies and toddlers. My son loves to feel the patches on each page. He also enjoys finding the mouse, which appears somewhere in all of the pictures. However, I also look for books which help my son to learn. Whilst reading "That's not my puppy" we are able explore colour, texture and parts of the body in a fun way.
Whilst the content of the book is the most important factor in my purchasing decision. I also need a book to be tough and durable enough to withstand a rough toddler. This series are board books, which have been well designed for toddlers. The corners are curved. The pages are thick and strong. It's difficult to peel the paper off the card, and the touchy feely patches are all well attached and integrated into the book. The books have a strong binding, which can withstand pages being bent right back. After months of bashing, our book is still in pretty good condition.
These books have an RRP of £5.99, which I find a little expensive. However, you can frequently find them on special offer in supermarkets and they are generally cheaper on line.
Thats not my series of childrens tactile books which are designed to give children a tactile way into learning. There are loads and loads of these not my books and we have the thats not my dinosaur, plane, pirate and dog.
Thats not my puppy is as with all the others printed on big thick cardboard type paper in bright colours and each has a tactile element linked to why its not your puppy.
The front of the book is a white puppy with a grey hairy coat and thats why he's not your puppy, as with all the thats not my books there is a white mouse on each page. I like the series because each page has a different reason for it not being your puppy and each has a different part of the dog in different tactile material as a reason for it not to be your puppy.
The second page is a type of french poodle in pink with a fluffy tale, we also have a dog with a shiny collar and a dog very like our own red setter with big hairy ears but thats why he's not our puppy.
Finally we come to the final page and the dog has a squishy nose, and thats why he's our puppy. I love these books and my one year old is starting to bring the books to me to read with him and he's started touching the bright colours and different materials on each page. He hasn't spotted the little white mouse yet but I guess that will come.
These are great little books and teach your children about different materials and colours.
This is the first book in the Usborne "That's Not My..." Books series, being originally published 10 years ago.
The Touchy-Feely books aim to provide babies and toddlers with engaging stories that stimulate the senses by using bright colours and using various fabrics and materials into the drawings.
In every book a little white mouse goes in search of something that belongs to him.
In this first book the little white mouse is looking for his puppy.
Cover: "That's not my puppy... its coat is too hairy."
In this new edition celebrating the 10th anniversary of the book (which is different to the one whose image is featured on this page) the cover is red with golden letters.
The little mouse is holding a yellow balloon that says "10th Birthday Special Edition".
In front of the mouse is a white dog with a grey furry body. The fur has rather long fibres that stick out of the body and hang over the cover - very good start to the book.
Page 1: "That's not my puppy... its tail is too fluffy."
In this scene the mouse finds a large pink poodle. The tip of the poodle's tail has a round tuft of hair that is made of fake pink wool.
I really like this scene, and the pink wool is very fluffy.
Page 2 & 3: "That's not my puppy... its paws are too bumpy."
I think this is gorgeous! The background is purple, and it is decorated with large, beautiful tree leaves.
The dog is yellow and its paws have brown patterned rubber for pads.
Pages 4 & 5: "That's not my puppy... its collar is too shiny."
This scene features a dalmatian. The collar is made of shiny red plastic.
The background is yellow and is decorated with two butterflies.
Pages 6 & 7: "That's not my puppy... its ears are too shaggy."
This is my favourite scene of the book.
The background is green and there are two bees buzzing in the air.
The dog is brown, and is facing towards us showing two long ears which have very soft, long wavy fur. Beautiful!
Pages 8 & inside of back cover: "That's my puppy! Its nose is so squashy.
In this final scene the little mouse finds his puppy, that turns out to be white with brown ears and a brown spot around its eye. The puppy's squashy nose is a black shiny cushion.
The puppy is holding a blue bone in its mouth, and the background is red.
DIMENSIONS AND MATERIALS
The book is made with paper from a sustainable forest.
The book is very small: 16.6 cm x 16.3 cm x 2 cm.
It has a glossy hard cover and board, wipe-clean pages.
The book is written by Fiona Watt, as are all other "That's Not My..." Books.
The illustrations are by Rachel Wells, who makes the drawings very simplistic, with thick outlines.
The price printed on the back of the book is £5.99, but it is sold for less in some online stores and in some supermarkets.
This is one of my favourite books of the entire "That's Not My..." series.
What I like most about this book is that the dogs all have different sizes, shapes and colours, and that some are even recognisable breeds.
The fabrics and materials used in this book are also some of the most attractive, and they make for very pleasant reading and touching.
I definitely recommend this book to everyone as a great present for babies or toddlers!
We have a house full of books! My husband and I are both addicted to reading and our children seem to be following suit. It makes it easy for friends and relatives to know what to buy as presents but it also means that the bookshelves are always groaning and it takes something a bit special to make its way to the front and stay there. This book appears to have that special something, at least as far as the children are concerned.
Usborne are known for the quality of their books and this one, from their "touchy-feely" range, is no exception. Our copy has been around for nearly 7 years (it was given to our oldest child that long ago) and although a little battered at the edges (well-loved) it is still going strong and looks like delighting our youngest just as much as it did her brothers and still does her sister. Author Fiona Watt and illustrator Rachel Wells have collaborated on a large number of these touchy-feely books, from "That's not my Dinosaur" to "That's not my Robot" and a fair few of them have graced our shelves, yet somehow despite the lure of cars with shiny windows, princesses with bumpy tiaras and even monsters with bobbly noses it's the puppies we always seem to come back to - perhaps my children are trying to tell me something!
This is definitely a board book; it has a solid feel to it from the start. The cover is bright and shiny, the pages are chunky and at about five inches square the whole thing is just the right size for an adult to hold and a child to help - not so big it gets in the way and not so small you end up fighting over the page-turning. There are only 5 double pages, plus the front cover, but the leaves are thick, partly to allow for all the texture to sit nicely between pages and partly because this really is a book built to be loved by babies and toddlers.
What's it about?
Like most good children's books it can be taken on a number of different levels. To my 6 month old baby this is a nice bright book with attractive pictures and lovely things to touch - she's seriously into texture just now! To my 3 year old it's a fun story with repetitive text so she knows where she stands, with pictures which have enough going on in them to provoke a discussion. She also loves to feel the textures and try to think of different ways to describe them and things that they are like. When she was two she used to enjoy finding the mouse in each picture and talking about the colours. My five year old would never ask me to read the story, but he still likes to come and join us when we're reading it - and to join in the discussions. He's old enough now to get the idea of things being lost and found again (in fact, I think we may use this as the springboard for a piece of creative writing for him and his big brother) and the font used is easy for him to read if he fancies having a go by himself. Even the seven year old will happily sit through this book (although I'm sure he'd rather be reading Horrible Histories!) and he loves to share it with his baby sister.
So what happens?
Well, not a lot really! The story, if you can call it that, starts on the front cover, a break with convention which often catches out unwary story readers! A little white mouse looks worriedly at a rather large, very hairy, puppy - a hole in the top layer of the cover allows the grey fluffy material which forms the puppy's hairy body to stick through, providing the texture for this page - and pronounces (in large letters at the top of the page), "That's not my puppy..." then explains (in small letters at the bottom of the page) "its coat is too hairy."
The next page has the same mouse, this time considering a bright pink poodle, but "That's not my puppy. Its tail is too fluffy." It is indeed a lovely fluffy tail, with fuzzy pink material peeking through just begging to be touched. And so it goes on; one puppy has paws which are too bumpy, another a collar which is too shiny and yet another ears which are too shaggy (but oh so strokeable!) until finally we come to the last page, where the mouse spreads wide its little arms and declares "That's my puppy! His nose is so squashy." and, in our house at least, we all heave a happy sigh at such a satisfactory ending - even if we would secretly have preferred it to be the puppy with shaggy ears who was right!
Who is it for?
As described above, this book could suit a fairly wide age range, but I think the age at which my children have really got most out of it has been about 3. A younger child will appreciate the textures and probably like the story with its strong repetitive text, but it is at 3 that they seem to really enjoy it. My 3 year old will ask for this time and time again, as did her brothers at the same age. One of the best things about it is that the text is so repetitive that after a few proper readings together you can rattle it off with your eyes closed (or whilst reading something else entirely - bad Mummy!) and if you pause suggestively at the appropriate bits (body part and texture) your child will probably fill it in for you!
Where can I get it and what will it cost me?
At full price (from Usborne, ELC or most bookshops) this would cost £5.99, but there are often 3 for 2 offers, or similar, on this type of book so it's worth looking around. They are often available second-hand, for example on Ebay, which is a good option given the excellent quality and longevity of the book. It's also interesting to see that it is available in other languages; we also have "Ou est mon chien?" and I have also seen "Este no es mi perrito..." on amazon - although as the latter appears to be going for between £31.47 and £242.82 you may, like me, feel that it's a little steep for a toddler board book!
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.ciao.co.uk