Beautiful to look at - badly written...
The Dog Detectives Series is a beautifully packaged gift set comprising three adventures featuring an unflappable deducing dog duo: Detective Jack and Deputy Poco Loco.
From the streets of London searching for the missing ravens from the Tower of London, to confronting a mean bear in the Canadian wilderness and the naughty dingoes in the alien landscape of the Australian outback, the doggy detectives inevitably find themselves embroiled in some mess or other.
The vivid illustrations are the backbone of this children’s series; bringing it to life with huge splashes of colour and quirky characters. The three adventures follow a similar format (rhyme, dialogue, rhyme), but this doesn’t make it any less awkward. The authors’ rhyming couplets suffer with inconsistent iambic meter and any whiff of rhyme dissolves too abruptly into dialogue only to equally abruptly return to rhyme again. This inexplicable inconsistency alludes to the authors’ struggle to sustain the rhyming couplets for their story and so gave up – the resultant disjointed narrative jangles the nerves and doesn’t make for fluid reading.
The basic premise of two canine detectives who cycle their way around the world stumbling onto minor mysteries is quite endearing; it obviously helps open up the world to youngsters in a novel way and certainly the factual content at the back lends this series to education. But where the concept is wonderfully thought out and the production of each book is impeccable – the quality of the storytelling really lets this series down.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012