Dogger – Shirley Hughes

POINTS: 5 out of 10.

Bechdel: 1 point
Variety of characters: 1 point
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point.

I’ve mentioned before that C has a Kitty that is a much beloved toy. We’ve lost Kitty once, and eventually found him again, and as a result there are now two Kitties floating around. I think this is a relatively familiar experience for many small humans and their parents, and Dogger tells the story really well.

It just squeezes a Bechdel pass because Bella (the protagonist’s sister) asks Mum for an ice-cream. In a longer book, I probably wouldn’t count this, but given this is a picture book with minimal text, I’m going to. There are a couple of kids of colour in the illustrations of the school fair, so I’ve given it one point for that. I always feel like that is such a low bar, but given how few of the books we’ve looked at do even this much, I’m giving it that point. None of them actually interact with the main characters in a meaningful way, however.

C and I both enjoyed the story. I’m not going to lie, I may have got a bit teary when Bella gave up her big teddy so her little brother could get his Dogger back. There’s a lot in this book about simple sibling kindness, and that’s something I always enjoy. Teaching kids kindness is always a good thing.

It’s a neat little book about something to which a lot of children and their parents will relate, and it’s  told with warmth and kindness and empathy. Good stuff.

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