Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs by Christopher Reid

Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: wonderful, captivating, inventive, exciting, enchanting.
Children’s book title: Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs.
Children’s author: Christopher Reid
Children’s illustrator: Sara Ogilvie.
Genre: poetry.
Published by: Faber Children’s
ISBN: 9780571334100
Recommended for children aged: 7+
This edition published: Hardback September 2021.
This children’s book is ideal for: reading to KS2 aged children and combining poetry and artwork topics.

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot

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Our review:

Anyone who has accommodated a cat and a dog, whether together or at different times, knows that they are very different creatures.

The cat’s I’ve lived with (notice I don’t say ‘owned’) have all had elaborate names based loosely around Shakespearean characters, but I honestly couldn’t tell you the difference between any of them. They all seemed to have emerged from one Universal Cat Personality. They’d sleep for most of the day and night, struggle awake to have a poo and a bite of Whiskas, look around as if to say, ‘Is this still going on?’ and then disappear back into their dreams.

Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs by Christopher Reid spread 2

My last dog, Bill, a border collie, was the exact opposite. He could detect the word park being whispered through three closed doors and would leap up at his lead until we got it down. He even learnt the alphabet when we started to spell the word out.

Dogs, you see, are actually mature adult people inside. If they lived long enough they would learn to speak, sit around reading Dante and do integral calculus. Cats wouldn’t see the point.

Christopher Reid understands this. His amazing canine gang – Towzle (his great-grandfather may have been a bale of hay, his great-grandmother a kitchen mop,) Frazzlesprat, Doggerel and Wagtail (two sixteenth-century dog-poets,) Old Bloke (who drinks in a pub in Camden,) Howling Jenny, Dobson the Dog Detective, to name only seven – are all worthy of joining T S Eliot’s cats in the literary animal pantheon.

Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs by Christopher Reid spread 1

Sara Ogilvie’s joyful and dramatic illustrations are a pleasure in themselves; with what they add to these wonderful poems we have a captivating and inventive creation that can hardly fail to excite and enchant readers of any age from seven upwards.

Key Stage Two teachers will appreciate the range of humourous poetry and the vivid illustrations, which could provide a springboard for combined literacy and art activity ideas for years 5&6.

Many thanks to Faber Children’s for the review copy.


If you like Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs you might also like: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, Ten Little Dogs by Ruth Brown, Scruff by Alice Bowsher, The Little Thing by Nick Cave, NO! said Rabbit by Marjoke Henrichs, our Children’s books for Christmas gifts guide,  and our list of books for year 4 children.

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About Laurence Inman

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Laurence is an actor, poet, short-story writer, playwright, screenwriter, cartoonist, public speaker, retired lecturer, and former English teacher. IMDb | Linkedin | Reviews by Laurence Inman