Saturday, 16 September 2017

DOUGAL DALEY - IT'S NOT MY FAULT, by Jackie Marchant. Reviewed by Saviour Pirotta

Author: Jackie Marchant
Illustrator: Loretta Schauer
Published by Wacky Bee
Publication date: 2017
format: pb

I have to admit that 'It's not my fault' was an oft-used mantra of mine when I was a kid. Not that it ever got me out of whatever punishment was being doled out for the mishap. Still, I kept on using it for years and, I have to admit, still use it on occasion now that I am a mature adult.

So when I saw this book at authors' retreat, I related to Dougal Daley right away. Daley is an ordinary city boy with ordinary likes and dislikes. He likes football, loves his pet dog and can't help getting into scrapes both at home and at school.

When a massive furry creature with sharp claws sets up home in the garden shed, Dougal decides to write a will in case he comes to a sticky end - rewarding those in his favour and disinheriting people who get on his bad side.

Jackie Marchant has an easy style that makes this story super-readable. It's written in the first person, which makes it feel vibrant and immediate. Kids will be able to identify with Dougal right away. Especially recommended for reluctant readers. I loved Dougal, and the creative way the book is put together using different fonts and formats. Can't wait to read more.

Saviour Pirotta is the story of the Ancient Greek Mysteries published by Bloomsbury. The first book, Mark of the Cyclops, is available now. The second, Secret of the Oracle is out on 5th October. Visit Saviour at Follow on twitter @spirotta.



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