Thursday 13 December 2012

348. Chocolate Dog by Holly Webb

Chocolate Dog by Holly Webb
Published December 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:
Amy and Laura aren't looking forward to the arrival of their new brother or sister. There doesn't seem to be any room for them anymore. But at least they still have their gorgeous dog Choc-he always knows how to make them feel better.

You would be forgiven if you thought that this book was a book about a gorgeous chocolate brown dog, and while it does have a gorgeous chocolate brown dog in it, the story is more to do with families, and the way they grow and change.
Amy is 9, and Laura is 5, they are like any siblings, some days they are the best of friends and others they are sworn enemies.  Amy and Laura have always had a reasonable balance between the two, but the impending arrival of a new baby to the family means that the sisters are now going to have to share a room.  It’s one thing to love you sister when you both have your own space, but it’s a little bit harder when your 5 year old mermaid loving sister moves in and all of a sudden you have nowhere of your own.

I think the theme is a great one, and one that will resonate with younger readers.  If they are a part of a big family where compromise is part of life child they will sympathise, if they are an only child who doesn’t have to share anything they may consider themselves lucky.

Amy is struggling with a number of emotions.  One minute she is frustrated with having to share, the next minute she misses her sister when she has to spend a night away from her at camp.  The worst feelings are the ones where she's not sure she even wants a baby in the family.

Each sister is dealing with the changes in her own way, Amy tries to runaway only to be ratted out by the dog! While Lara copes with the possibility of missing out on her birthday and mermaid cake, by hiding out under the kitchen table. 

It's a lovely story about family, but I really thought the cover and title were deceiving. It looks like it may be an obvious choice for a dog loving 8 year old, but it will be better suited to someone looking for a true to life family tale.

Who will like this book: Girls age 8+
Read it if you like: My Funny Family by Chris Higgins


  1. what a cute cover but yes, the story seems very different, but meaningful.

    Almost there with the end of the year - congrats! :)

    1. Thanks Wai :-) I can't believe it, only 14 books to go.
      It's funny, but this feels like the most difficult stretch!