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Looking at these books makes me a little sad that my own children are now too old to want to be read to at night. I loved reading the Lynley Dodd books to them. We bought our first one in New Zealand on the recommendation of a friend, and have since bought all the others we could lay our hands on. They are now threadbare from being read so often, but are among the few books that I will carefully store away in the hope of reading them to grandchildren one day!
Scarface Claw is a particularly fun story to read if you enjoy putting on funny voices to entertain little ones. The animals are drawn with real character and, as in all her stories, the words read like a song, perfect for the rhythmic reading style that helps children get off to sleep more easily. In this story Scarface Claw - the arch-enemy of the hero of the series of stories (Hairy Maclary - a dog) shows how nothing frightens him... until suddenly he is frightened by seeing himself in a mirror. After meeting Scarface in other books, my kids both found it hilarious that this was the one thing that would frighten him.
I've recommended these books to lots of friends, and none have been disappointed. I'd say it's most suitable for children up to the age of six.
I have been very blessed recently to enjoy my Saturday evenings with the most handsome young man that I know, even getting a cuddle before bed. No, I have not been dating but instead (and it's far more fun) I have been babysitting my nephew. What a delight. Until bed time. Knowing mummy and daddy, for the first night at least, were not in really set the little fellow off.
What to do. Now. I remember reading these to many of the children I have looked after and been a nanny for and I know that some good old Hairy Maclary never fails. I sat down with small fry for a bed time read and this time we opted for Scarface Claw. Now, without any spoilers for mummies and daddies out there (You also wont want to hear it again I'm sure) Scarface is supposed to be the big bad cat that isn't afraid of anything. This story is the tale surrounding the characters from the Hairy Maclary series with a focus on Scarface Claw showing that, actually, he might not be as tough as he tells everyone. As with all the other books by the wonderful New Zealand author Lynley Dodd the story is written as poem that flows beautifully, with great use of alliteration.
The images throughout the book do not disappoint, they are of a beautiful quality as always, and are still the same wonderful paintings that have been throughout the series. I would recommend really taking the chance to go over these with the kids as there is so much to spot.
We had great fun reading this book together, whilst it is a little above small fry's literary level at the moment he still had great fun telling me all the spectacular names of the wonderful characters and giving me very interesting descriptions of the beautiful images :)
The book is the perfect length, little ones enjoy it, mummies and daddies don't feel like they have been reading forever. The images are fun, creative and the story is fun. I would also highly recommend that you read some of the other books in the series - Most come in at around £4 which is a fairly reasonable cost for a book that will be read so many times.
Is it worth it? Yes, very much so. I highly recommend this, just a few points to make - I've not come across this in hardback so to be aware with little sticky fingers turning pages. And. Most of all. Be prepared to read this time and again. I actually just recite the story whilst he holds it now......
Be prepared to enjoy many hours of fun reading this beautiful book.
When my daughter first recieved this book I was quite sceptical as the wording seemed too difficult for a young child to understand and enjoy. I put it aside thinking i would read it to her when she was a little older. Next time i was at her nursery however, my daughter pulled out another book from these series and asked me to read Hairy Mclairy to her. I was taken aback but i obliged. Wow! Only when read aloud i think can you really appreciate the rhyme and humour in this story. Both, my daughter and I were smiling by the end of it. It inspired alot of discussion afterwards aswell. Needless to say when i came home and showed her this book, she was superexcited and asked me to read it to her straightaway.
A great book, good pictures that add to the storyline, great memorable characters, super rhymes and great storyline. One of those rare books that can be read again and again. I love the fact that thjis story is actually quite challenging for a young child but because of the rhyme, humour and pictures, they love it anyway! Thus, they are learning and enjoying themselves at the same time. A great book.
Having several younger siblings with reading homework often leads to disaster, as I don't want to hear the same book over and over, and they just don't want to read. This book is beautifully illustrated and the regular rhyme pattern both amuses my little sister and gives something of a rhythm to a book.
This is especially helpful given her tendency to read one word at a time as the rhythm set seems to make her reading flow more.
-Encourages them to read sentences rather than individual words.
-The rhyme pattern seems to encourage them to read a little faster.
-The pictures are simple but look good.
-The story makes sense and the animals stay 'in character'.
-It is part of a series with the same characters which makes my sister eager to read the next book.
-Many of the characters have fairly longer names which can cause a younger reader to stumble, but as the names are repeated frequently and the same characters appear in all the books they soon catch on.
-While a lovely book my sister has discovered the DVDs and while she used to watch PGs that could be enjoyed by the whole family she now insists on watching them over and over again. I can now hum the theme tune......
My daughter quite some time ago was given a set of Hairy Maclary books which she really loves, I looked for other books within the series but found that many of them you cannot get hold of anymore so when we came across this book in the library she was very excited.
The book is written and illustrated by Lynley Dodd who was born in 1941 in New Zealand. Her first book was My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes in 1973 and the first Hairy Maclary book was published in 1983, the Hairy Maclary series has a great number of books along with singular books written about some of the accompanying characters from the series. This book can be bought on Amazon for £4.67 although the RRP of the book is £4.99 so it is a little cheaper. The book is published by Puffin Books and this story was first published in 2001 in New Zealand and then 2002 in this country.
The front cover of the book shows the mean and frightening Scraface Claw, he is a big black tom cat that every animal in town is afraid of and we have met him in previous books. The picture shows him wiggling his way through some reeds as if he is stalking something, the background colours are shades of oranges and yellows and the black cat stands out really well against them. The title of the book is written in black and is in nice swirly writing which is made to look like the black cats fur and then the authors name is written in swirly plain black writing underneath. The front cover of the book is simple yet effective and sets the tone of the book well.
The book begins with Scarface Claw being introduces as the roughest, toughest, boldest, bravest and fiercist of cats, it goes on to say how people are so scared of him they tremble when he is about yet he isn't scared of anything. The book goes through some things that cats would usually be afraid of and asks if he is scared of any of them, thunderstorms, the dark, dogs, a fire engine wail and spiders to which of course the answer is always no. The book finishes with Scarface Claw finally being scared of something and this is his own refelection.
The book isn't very long, some pages have six or seven lines but then alot of the pages only have one line. The writing is written in rhyme and the author uses some really lovely descriptive wording which makes the book flow really nicely. The book is only suitable to be read to young children as even if they are at an age where they are learning to read like my eldest daughter is the wording is far too hard for them to read.
The pictures in this book are brilliant and you can pretty much tell the story from the pictures alone, to begin with you see Scarface stalking from behind a tree and the picture is quite dark which my daughter doesn't always like so I wasn't sure she would like the book but then the following picture is much brighter and shows cats peeping out from behind a tree looking at him and obviously scared, my daughter found this funny. When the story asks if Scarface is scared of something it shows a picture of a scared black cat in the relevant situation and then when you turn the page to be told no he isn't scared it shows the same picture with him happy and not scared at all. The picture at the end of the book where Scarface sees himself in the mirror is captured really well.
We love this book as we have with all of the series that we have read, my daughter likes the different animals and when asked if Scarface was scared of dogs she was able to name the dogs that were shown in the picture from the Hairy Maclary books. I love the way the book flows and the way all the animals names rhyme and the book is very easy to read. The end of the book my daughter found funny especially since our own cat jumps when she sees herself in the mirror too so she pointed out it was "just like Jet" We have yet to find one of these books that we don't enjoy and we are still keeping an eye out for others in this range that we have not read, the writing is fantastic, the pictures are brilliant and overall the book is excellent.