Give Your Child a Dog Book

Books play a major role in our family, which happens to include a trained linguist, an inspired writer, an imaginative, bookworm kind of child and a whippet who likes nothing better than to hang around with his humans and listen to their stories. Therefore, with World Book Day celebrations taking place tomorrow, I felt we needed to put a bit of thought into what  to read next and what to recommend our friends.

Every year, we try to guide our daughter towards choosing the right books for her age and level of understanding; books that will captivate and enthrall her, stimulate her imagination and feed her brain; books that will make her laugh and books that will make her cry; books that will give her something special for the rest of her life; books that she’ll want to share.

With this in mind and having exhausted our bookcase and the local library, I decided to take a look on the World Book Day website. Although I was sad to find out that we’d missed the writing competition for kids, it was really exciting to find one of Brianna’s favourite books – by her favourite author – in the top 10 books recommended for 5-8 year olds. At number 7, more precisely. What book is it? A doggy book, of course. Even better, a book about a whippety-type dog called Streaker.

I’m sure some of you have guessed it already, it’s The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong. What a fantastic book this is. My husband and I have read it a few times ourselves, but Brianna has read it so many times that she could quote whole pages from it whenever you like. She still thinks it’s hilarious, and we very often find her lying on her bed fully immersed in the story and laughing her head off. Here she is reading it to George (who’s got a crush on the main character):

However tempted I may be to tell you all about this wonderfully funny story, I’ll try to refrain myself from spoiling the mystery and only disclose what the blurb of the book has got to say about it –

Streaker is no ordinary dog. She’s a rocket on four legs with a woof attached, and Trevor has got until the end of the holidays to train her. If he fails, he’ll lose his bet with horrible Charlie Smugg, and something very nasty to do with frogspawn will happen…” –

along with the opening page of the book:

Streaker is a mixed-up kind of dog. You can see from her thin body and powerful legs that she’s got a lot of greyhound blood in her, along with quite a bit of Ferrari and a large chunk of whirlwind.

Nobody in our family likes walking her and this is hardly surprising. Streaker can out-accelerate a torpedo. She can do 0 to 100 mph in the blink of an eye. She’s usually vanished over the far horizon long before you have time to yell – ‘Streaker!’

I guess part of the reason why we like this book so much is George. You read stories like this differently when you have a dog that you can relate it to. However, this is a book for all children (and adults) who love animals, appreciate a great read and enjoy a good laugh. And, if you and your kids fall in love with Streaker and want to join in more of her adventures, you can proceed to the other titles in the series: Return of the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour DogLost! The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog, Wanted! The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog and Christmas Chaos for the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog.



Filed under Our days, Reviews

14 responses to “Give Your Child a Dog Book

  1. postadaychallenge2011

    How informing that this book is for all alike: kids and adult. To be able to “identify” with the characters and not just any: “a dog” mind you. I am a cat lover and can see it in my “cat’ as a storyline. Thanks for this post. Seeing children reading is so inspirational as I was not a reader growing up. Good job raising your children as readers and sharing it with all of us. We need more people like you in the world, “bookworm.” 🙂

    • Thanks for your nice comment, Jackie. “Bookworm” is a compliment in our house, so thank you for that, too 🙂
      I believe that one thing that makes a book stand out from the rest is the writer’s ability to make his/her readers relate to their writing and ‘transfer’ it to their real lives. I think that you’ve just proved that by ‘adapting’ the story from “a dog” to your own cat. It just comes to show how personal the reading experience can be.

  2. I’m a primary school teacher, and I will definitely be adding that book to my collection! Thanks!

  3. We’re adults with no kids, but we both love children’s books! I was a bookworm when I was younger and some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around books.

    The photo of Brianna and George is absolutely precious.

    • We were reading children’s books before we had Brianna, too. I think that’s helping us guide and encourage her now. Plus, I genuinely think some of the children’s books out there are really, really good.

  4. lifewith4cats

    I love animal books. I sometimes wish I had kids so I would have a valid excuse to buy and read kids books. I’ll never understand why books for adults don’t have pictures. Like we grow too old for pictures?
    A good dog book for kids: ‘Ribsy’ by Beverly Cleary 1964 She wrote all the ‘Ramona’ books I grew up on.

    • You don’t need an excuse to read kids books, a lot of them are better than ‘adult’ books anyway. We’ve always read them, even before we were parents. And I completely agree about the pictures, we all love pictures regardless of our age. In good kids books the pictures are well thought about and chosen so that the compliment the story and are, in a way, part of the story. Just think of the Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake partnership, for example.
      Thanks for the recommendation, I’ve written it down and will look into it. I’m sure Brianna will enjoy reading it.

  5. Glad you found my blog so I could fine yours!

    Have you read the Chet the Dog books? There are three mysteries that feature Chet (all of the books are told in Chet’s voice). Spencer Quinn types the books up for Chet. Chet has a Facebook page too!

    Mom has read all three books to me and I love them (and she does too). We are anxiously awaiting his fourth in September!

    We’re going to check out the Streaker books now!

    • I haven’t heard about these books before, so thank you very much for the recommendation. Will definitely look into that, from what you’re saying they sound like the perfect choice for us. We all love mysteries, and a combination of mystery and dogs sounds just perfect!

  6. Didi, what a great post! And a treat to read a book review. Even though my kids are young (4 and 2), we’ve read to them every day since they were born. So I bet they would love this book. I remember my husband and I would take turns lying with our infant son on our bed, just reading. For an hour at a time! It’s one of my best memories. His little eyes, so wide and glued to the pages. We even read “Make Way for Ducklings,” which is a long book for a toddler, much less a baby. But we were lucky he loved it so much. My daughter had some problems with her birth, and difficult issues like reflux. So she screamed. A lot. But I believed in reading to them so much, I would actually sit there, with her screaming in my lap or over my shoulder, and just read anyway. I felt like an idiot at times. But today, she loves books. And begs to take them in her crib with her!

    And to Lifewith4cats, you’re right! Books for adults should have pictures too. We have a few, the “coffee table books,” and a few years ago, I remember my husband and I putting them on our coffee table when we were selling our house. So we’d look smart.

    • You definitely did the right thing, and you’re already seeing the results. If your kids love books now, when they are little, they’ll definitely turn into avid readers later on. And a child with thirst for knowledge and a love of books will pretty much teach themselves everything that they need to know, I really believe that. When Brianna was a baby, I used to read to her to settle her, just like you’re doing. The content and level of the book did not matter (I read her two chapters of Thus Spoke Zarathustra once!) – it was the sound of my voice reading that seemed to do the trick. Now she’s a real bookworm and the school have literally run out of books to give her. I think you’re doing a great job with your kids and it’s a pleasure to follow your experiences on your blog. I did not always find it easy being the mother I thought my only child deserved, and therefore I really admire your attitude and strength of raising two small children the right way, at the same time.

      Love the coffee table book trick…Although I have the feeling that you didn’t need extra help to look smart!

  7. I simply must track this book down! It would be great fun to read to the class when Bunny visits. If your daughter enjoys poetry at all, there’s a great book called Once I Ate A Pie and it’s poems about different dogs. They make me laugh out loud.

    • Reading that book to your school kids with Bunny around would be a wonderful experience. I’m sure they’ll think that book has been written about Bunny 🙂 Brianna loves poetry and at the moment she’s actually reading a big collection of children’s poems that her teacher gave her, so I’ll definitely look for the book that you recommend. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, too. Thank you.

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