The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Publisher: Walker Books
Polly belongs to Molly, Eric belongs to Derek, Martha belongs to Arthur – everyone knows that owners and their dogs belong together in their own unique way. There's a poodle, a sausage dog and an old English sheep dog, and they are all suspiciously like their owners.
But for poor Mr Scruff, alone in the dogs' home, there is no one – until a very special little boy arrives looking for a friend...
You can read quite a lot into this heartwarming picture book, which only adds to the joy. The young boy, Jim, picks a dog who looks nothing like him. He's small, Mr Scruff is big. Their names don't even rhyme! But they're still the best of friends. There's a gently inclusive message here to look past your preferences, and outside your bubble, and welcome all kinds of different people in your life. People come in all shapes and sizes and everyone deserves love and kindness.
It's a snuggly, cuddly sort of book that inspires a real sense of belonging and home, as well as appealing to all young animal lovers.
After all, you could definitely just enjoy Mr Scruff for its brilliant read-aloud rhymes and funny watercolour illustrations. The expressions and detail on each dog are brilliant! By the end, your biggest problem will be convincing your child not to go out and get their own Mr Scruff immediately...