Dr Dog

Publisher: Random House Children's

Doctor Dog is the Gumboyle family's favourite pet and their trusty personal physician - but when he jets off to a medical conference in Brazil, the family struggle to survive without him. Doctor Dog is summoned home to find everyone is sick: Gerty has tonsillitis, Kev has lice, Baby has tummy ache, Fiona has earache and grandad has awful wind.

Cole's funny illustrations demonstrate serious but easy-to-understand facts about personal hygiene, such as washing your hands, wearing a coat and not picking your nose - or, as Doctor Dog eloquently puts it, 'Never scratch your bum and suck your thumb'.

Doctor Dog explains each ailment with a detailed diagram, which makes the story equally enticing for kids with a predilection for non-fiction. And it all ends with a fart joke, as grandad ignores Doctor Dog's warning not to eat any more baked beans and blows the roof off with a single gust. What more could any five-year-old ask for?

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