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Artwork © Helen Cooper

FULL REVIEWS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian.

Award-winning illustrator Helen Cooper's hugely imaginative dog fantasy carries the reader on a wild and explosive night-time caper after Bridget eats a dog biscuit by mistake. When she wonders what effect it will have, Mrs Blair says she'll turn into a dog. What will it feel like? Gently and almost imperceptibly, through tiny details which children will love, Bridget begins to develop some doggy characteristics. Joking adult comments confirm Bridget's dog identity and soon she is off, lured into a dog's night out by the neighbourhood pooches. And what fun they have across four gorgeous spreads at a wolfish midnight feast filled with sausages and a moonlit milkshake pool. Luckily, when the reality of a dog's life strikes, Bridget turns into a girl once more. Or maybe she was never a dog ... Adults take note: teasing can have unexpected results.

If you want to read more about Dog Biscuit you could look at the notes on the book written by Pure Goodwyn and Nicky Gamble on
the TEACHER'S NOTES PAGE


When I was three I went into the nursery potting shed with my friend Patrick. We were not supposed to be in there and ofcourse we got into trouble. We found a bag of dog biscuits meant for the nursery poodle. We were hungry, it was almost lunch time, and the dog biscuits smelled good. Have you ever seen the ones that come in different colours and shapes - stars and hearts and moons and bones - those were the sort. We couldn't resist. Both of us ate a Dog Biscuit.

Just then we were called. Patrick's Mother had arrived to take him home. Full of our bravery we admitted our deed. Patrick's Mum shook her head.
“O My,” she said “You'll go bow wow and turn into a dog.”

That was the start of it. I lived in terror for days and constantly checked behind me to see if my tail was growing, but I knew I shouldn't have eaten something that wasn't meant for humans so I never owned up. Not until now. So, here is Dog Biscuit, for all children who are frightened of something they wish they hadn't done and too scared to tell. In my story Bridget tells her Mum in the end and her problem is solved. Not so for me. (woof!)

Bridget, the little girl in the book, is obsessed with dogs for a day and a night. I wanted this to be reflected in her surroundings. I needed some quality reminissant of dogs in the curves and lines of the art work.. I found the inspiration I needed in the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Hill House proved the starting point. The triangular angles and curves of the building could very easily be transformed into more dog shaped lines for my purpose. Once I began it was hard to stop. There are no direct Mackintosh quotes in the book but I used elements of his style in the furniture, the architecture and even the trees. I also used the blue and rose colour schemes that he favoured.

Finally Dog biscuit is about irresistible food. It could potentially have been a been a rather a scary story. I wanted children to revel in the anarchic doggyness rather than being fearful of it. I hope the pictures of doggy heaven are the feast that every child and dog might dream of. As for the recipe. It works. But avoid bone shaped cookie cutters. You never know what might happen if you use those.