Dogger By Shirley Hughes



Dogger by Shirley Hughes

Dogger by Shirley Hughes

Dogger is a book from my childhood. In fact, the copy I have at home and read to my kids is my copy from when I was younger. I have always loved this book and my kids love it too.


Dave, a boy of about 4, has a very special soft toy dog, named Dogger. Dogger goes everywhere with Dave, until one day, at bedtime, when Dogger cannot be found. The whole family is in on the search, but it is Dave’s big sister Bella who turns out to be the hero of the story.

Why I love it:

I guess I’ve always been able to relate to this story. When I was a little girl, I had my ‘shawl’ – a big blanket my grandmother knitted for me and it went everywhere with me. When I got older and went to school, I would race home to grab my shawl and I still have it tucked away in storage. My son now has his ‘Blankie’ and Blankie has really become like a third child – we all have to constantly keep track of Blankie’s whereabouts and can never leave Blankie at home when we go out. Blankie once spent a night at The Good Guys, and let’s just say, sleep for all of us at home was hard to come by! So, I totally get the whole ‘special toy’ thing and I love how this book uses that theme to then highlight the love within a family. It’s a really timeless book and definitely worth a read.

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Finding comfort
  • Loss
  • Family
  • Kindness
  • Generosity
  • Selflessness
  • Love

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:

  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Does Dogger look like a new toy or an old toy?
  • How do you think the boy feels about Dogger? What makes you think this?

After reading:

  • Do you have a special toy or blanket that gives you comfort?
  • How do you think Dave felt when he realised Dogger was missing?
  • How do you think he felt when he saw Dogger on the stall?
  • What about when he saw the little girl walking away with Dogger; how would he have felt then?
  • What did Bella do for Dave?
  • Why do you think Bella did this?
  • Look at the last illustration in the book, what do you think both Bella and Dave are dreaming of?

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