My Secret Dog – Tom Alexander

I love dogs and the cover of My Secret Dog is so cute that I had to read it.

A young girl finds a dog who ends up following her home. She can’t bear to part with him so keeps the dog a secret. She hides him at home and school, and what was first a lot of fun ends up very worrying because hiding a dog in a small flat and at school is harder than she thought.

I loved the simplicity of the black and white line drawings, especially the expression on the mother’s face when she’s laughing, and I’m keen to try drawing the dog. I’m definitely no artist so chances are it won’t look anything like the example but I’ll certainly have fun trying.

I appreciated the mother in the story talking to her daughter about how secrets can start out small but grow over time and loved that she told her daughter that no matter what secret she had she could tell her Mum who would love her no matter what.

My soapbox complaint about this book is that the daughter learns nothing from this talk and winds up repeating the same behaviour all over again. I’m not a fan of children’s books that have a message but then don’t follow through. If there’s a message about not keeping secrets from your parents, then I expect the ending to be something along the lines of the child coming to tell the parent about a secret as they know they don’t need to hide anything from them anymore or choosing to not do the same thing all over again. I may well be an old fuddy duddy but I wouldn’t personally buy a book for a child that has a message with no follow through.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

I always wanted a dog, but Mum said I wasn’t allowed.

So I got one anyway.

My secret dog lives in the cupboard and we sneak out at night to play.

We’ll be best friends forever.

So long as Mum doesn’t find out …

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