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 Dog, Lost! The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog, Wanted! The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog and Christmas Chaos for the Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog.