Join ten little dogs as they bounce, race, tumble and play across the pages. They certainly start with the full number but one by one they meet obstacles and are left behind, until, yes there is only one – but you cannot keep such a group of irrepressible characters out of the action – and where will they be? Why in the park.
This is an attractive take on a familiar trope – the count down from 10 to 1. It has been used innumerable times and here it is as fresh as ever. This is very much due to Ruth Brown’s expertise as a picture book creator. Her jaunty rhyme carries the reader across the double spreads to turn the page while her puppies are recognisable in their actions and behaviours; they are indeed mischievous puppies. Her artwork is as accessible and as joyous as ever. Whatever their antics these are no cartoon characters but very real little animals – those in the know would be able to identify breeds – and the inevitable mutt. The colour saturated spreads are a feast for the eyes while her energetic lines imbue her doggy characters with an exuberance that is infectious. Ruth Brown’s realistic style ensures that her young audience will relate to the images with ease, making this an extremely enjoyable and satisfying reading experience for both adult and child.