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  • Mark

What Dog Knows by Sylvia Vanden Heede, illustrated by Marije Tolman

Learning about the world is tough. A lot of things like cooking and drawing and dinosaurs don't work quite how you might expect. If you're like Wolf, you're probably lacking the patience to learn and would rather get on with eating everything.

Luckily, Wolf has Dog. Dog has taken the time to understand these and many other topics. So while Wolf is gnawing on a bone, Dog explains how skeletons fit together, how the body works and even how the ancient Egyptians made mummies (no, Wolf, you can't mummify cat!) He teaches Wolf the subtle differences between robots and knights in armour, an understandable source of confusion. And in between these lessons he has inserted ideas for activities, like making marshmallow robots and convincing treasure maps.

New Zealand based publisher Gecko Press always seem good at finding brilliant oddities, and for me there's no better example than What Dog Knows. This is a wonderful, quirky book that mixes serious facts with hilarious conversation. It would really come into its own as a read-together, and I'd encourage any family to give it a go. You will have so much fun. Just be careful with those cardboard swords and don't get any funny ideas about mummifying.

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