Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy – Lynley Dodd

POINTS: 4 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 2 points.

This is a very Hairy Maclary friendly household. This is a book we’ve been reading for about as long as C has been alive (along with a couple of the pothers that I got cheap off Trademe at some point).

There is no dialogue (and there are no obviously female characters, though I suppose Muffin McLay might be a girl) so it can’t pass the Bechdel, and similarly, all the characters are animals, so there’s no way it can get the diversity point either.

Still, though, this is a little masterpiece. There is a good reason these books have become as popular as they have. Dodd has an ability to get every single word in her rhyming text absolutely perfect, and make it look easy – which, believe me, when you’ve read as many kids’ books as I have, is no easy feat.

The text trips along lightly like it’s being made up on the spot, and the illustrations are totally marvellous. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a fan of animals in kids’ books that act like animals, and these do. She also manages to give them all very real personalities with just a few words and great pictures.

C loves this book, and can pretty much recite it right along with me. I have never gotten bored of reading it, which may be one of the best things that can ever be said for a book aimed at pre-reading-age kids. And if you don’t love doing the Scarface Claw “EEEEEEOWWWFFTZ!”, you have no soul. ;P

One of the greats for a reason.

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