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This brand new addition to the much-loved Kiwi Corkers series follows three cattle dog brothers who take their chances crossing the bridge under which lurks the fearsome Marakihau. But the taniwha has met his match when big brother Tuff comes along!
Yet another story in the kiwi corker range this story is a kiwi take on the Three Billy Goats gruff. I love reading these books to my son as they introduce him to a common story but with things that he can relate to. He always makes me find the traditional story to also read to him which makes a trip tot he library exciting.
Reading this story aloud has a lovely rhyme to it that made you want to keep reading. I had to stop myself at each page to look and talk about what was happening in each page. It has well detailed pictures that reflect New Zealand. My son was really interested in the way the illustrations had been drawn and was amazed by the shadows that were under the dogs.
This book is targeted at the 3-7 year range however with so many language patterns, rhyme and onomatopoeia I think there is plenty for a classroom teacher to discuss and study I the classroom above the 7 year old level.
If I had to choose something that I didn't particularly like about this book knowing that the target age range of 3-7yrs was the term 'silly mutt' being used. This was a very hard one to explain to a four year old and while explaining it realised that this is something we try to teach youngsters not to do - call others negative names based on where they come from - 'silly dog' might of been more age appropriate.
We all know the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. The Three Cattle Dogs Gruff is a New Zealand twist on the traditional version. To be honest when I first read it it didn't really appeal to me, but as I have re-read it I am enjoying it more each time. I suppose that is what comes from taking a story you were brought up with, variations just don't seem right. I have read this with children ranging from 3 years to 7 years and they were not concerned. They thought some of the changes were rather funny.
The three dogs all work on the farm and have different personalities reflective of their age and size. This is depicted in both their appearance and description. The troll has been replaced by Marakihau which seemed much scarier than any of the trolls in the past. The children loved that Marakihau burped (in the repetitive part of the text too) and some of them liked to let out a burp whenever we read that part.
The illustrations were distinctly New Zealand. There were fantails and pongo along with the rolling hills and blue sky. The characters all have facial expressions that make them seem very real. The fur on the dogs seems so natural. This makes this book a great gift to send to young kiwi overseas as well as read to children here.
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Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)