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Barking up the Wrong Tree by Philip Ardagh, illustrated Elissa Elwick

Barking up the Wrong Tree by Philip Ardagh, illustrated Elissa Elwick

Sally Stick has a dog called Fetch. He understands what she says and she knows what his barks mean.  Other people simply hear him bark. They set up a detective agency, Stick and Fetch – in Sally’s granny’s kitchen.  
This volume includes three separate stories – Telly Trouble, No Clowning Around and Up, UP and Away. As the overall title of the book suggests, there are misunderstandings. Yet all works out well: Sally and Fetch get to enjoy some of Granny’s celebration cake, they manage the cheer up a very sad little boy who is not enjoying his birthday and they enable children at the local library to have a very exciting story time.
There is also much to amuse any adult who reads with a child: the adult will probably realise that Sally has misunderstood something every time.  
However, Philip Ardagh remains on the child’s side and any reader will empathise with Sally.
This book is 142 pages long so it has a respectable spine.  There is only a small amount of text on each page and amusing images illustrate this well. The text is formatted ragged right and is double-spaced. The font is Anka Sans, one that is easy to read.   


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …