Sausage dog, Hal, loves his trusty old blanket and goes nowhere without it, even though his friends all say that it makes him look like a sausage covered in mustard. From the beach to the zoo, wherever Hal goes his blanket goes with him. Little do Hal's friends know just how useful it might turn out to be when a thunderstorm strikes and Hal manages to rescue his canine chums using that scruffy old blanket.
Haha this is such a great book. It is very easy to see why this wonderful story was a winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. It is fun as well as funny and it is enjoyable to read, filled with laughter and delight. I love stories that have a sense of humor to them, and my daughter really enjoys reading anything that rhymes as they are just so much more fun to read sometimes. And you know if they enjoy what they are reading, then they will be more inclined to re-read it, or read more in general.
The cover has a picture of Hal the sausage dog, and although it is his blanket he is wearing, being titled Hot Dog Hal, you are mistaken for thinking that he is wrapped in pastry and is in fact a hot dog (like those on a stick). So given the cover, I truly thought we were going to be reading a story about an edible kind of hot dog, but nope that was not the case. Yes he is a hot dog, but that is due to his blanket not food lol
The other great aspect of this book is that it covers real life happenings and how easy it is for things to go wrong, or for people to be mean, but by staying true to yourself, you can achieve anything or get through any situation if it is possible to do so. I really enjoy reading stories with my daughter, especially ones that have life lessons or hidden messages that she learns about subconsciously without the stigma of what is expected or right or wrong associated with that lesson.
We have owned this book for about a week now, and in that time it has already been read several times over. Often when we are finished with review books my daughter passes them on to friends or family, and sometimes her school, but this is one book that we are keeping! A fun addition to the book case, that we wont tire with anytime soon.
This is definitely a book that I would not choose by the look of its cover or the title. Actually would probably be one that I would stay away from as it reminded me so much of a superhero dog book, of which there have been plenty. It was the blurb on the back of this book that made me want to take a deeper look inside and see what it offered.
What a pleasant surprise it was looking inside. Not only a book full of humour and rhyme but one that carried a very special message about friendship and uniqueness. How many of us have had children or been that child that was attached to a special blanket or teddy and been teased because of it? I could so relate to Hot Dog Hal as my teddy stayed with me everywhere I went when I was young. Definitely a book for any parent that has a kid with a special something.
Illustrations in this book have been done in a way that encourages discussion. I love how they show movement where possible. To dramatise parts of the story the illustrations are flipped over two pages. The text in this book is written with a lot of punctuation. A great way to encourage kids to understand and look for punctuation. The one fault I would find in this book however is that I am not a fan of the way they have printed the letter 'i' with a star instead of a dot. I found that with all the punctuation this was just too much and made reading difficult.
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"Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?"