For those outside of the bookish loop of the Internet, the #bookadayuk campaign has been running on Twitter since the spring, with various companies each curating a month’s worth of daily tweets along a variety of bookish lines.
October is curated by Books Are My Bag – this year’s campaign is launched on Super Thursday (9th October) with events happening in bookshops up and down the country the following Saturday.
That long introduction out of the way, I thought I would take the opportunity brought to me by today’s tweet, and write about my favourite dogs in fiction, something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. That and I couldn’t narrow the choice down to one! In reverse order:
1. Timmy, The Famous Five, Enid Blyton
Growing up, the ‘…of Adventure’ books were my favourite Enid Blyton series. So it was when Seven Stories opened their Blyton retrospective exhibition that my love of Timmy really developed. Timmy came to storytimes, he ate in the cafe, and he even made friends with the How To Train Your Dragons that lived in the exhibition upstairs. Viking hats a must. With the Famous Five’s 70s TV theme constantly playing in the exhibition, I’ll always recall him best as ‘Timmy the do-og’.
2. Claude, Alex T. Smith
Claude is the bone-baguette-eating hero of Alex T. Smith’s wonderful series for developing readers. My go-to books in the workplace for children making their first forays into reading, Claude and his sidekick Sir Bobblysock (an actual bobbly sock, of course) get involved in all kinds of ridiculous adventures, all told in Smith’s hilarious, laugh out loud style.
3. Biff, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet, Anna Kemp and Sarah Ogilvie
While I adore both the narrative and rhyme of Anna Kemp’s story, it’s Sarah Ogilvie’s illustrations that really bring Biff to life. The classic unexpected hero, Biff is just adorable.
4. George, Oh No, George!, Chris Haughton
George is a dog who wants to be good. He hopes he’ll be good. He tries to be good, but, lured by cake, cats to chase and lovely soil to dig, George is a dog who ends up in trouble. One of the most realistically portrayed dogs in fiction, George is just brilliant.
5. Manchee, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
‘Need a poo, Todd’. And so opens Patrick Ness’ brilliant The Knife of Never Letting Go. The Chaos Walking series is my favourite trilogy of books, without question, Todd, the realistically and honestly flawed main character is one of my favourite leads in fiction…so it follows that Manchee gets to top the list of canines. I think this picture of Dug from Pixar’s Up accurately sums up my thoughts on this topic: