Author: Mick Inkpen
Illustrator: Chloë Inkpen
Age Group: 2-7
Synopsis: Told from the perspective of a mischievous puppy who is proud of all that he knows, Fred is about the one command he can’t figure out: his own name.
The Low Down:
I grew up with dogs but my husband and I haven’t had a dog in a long time. There are reasons, that truthfully are long and tedious and I shan’t bore you with them. We do have two cats, something I’d never thought possible ten years ago. However, I still love the insatiable love and curiosity that dogs seemed imbued with. Fred brings all of that to its reader, with laugh-out-loud funny moments.
Fred begins the story by bragging about how he passed his obedience training, he can sit, stay, come and he doesn’t run away, much. He’s refreshingly honest in all his observations and so proud of what he can do and has accomplished. He knows he’s not supposed to go upstairs but mentions it anyway when talking about a dog he found in the bedroom mirror. He wonders if this dog knows what the family wants him to do when they yell: “Fred!” The dog doesn’t know and neither does Fred but that doesn’t stop him from confidently announcing that one day he will Fred and will be the best at Fredding. It’s only when he jumps in a boating pond and finds he can’t swim that he realizes that everyone has been yelling his name. As his young owner fishes him out of the water and cuddles him whispering: “Fred.” a lightbulb goes off. Fred loves his owner even more now and they end the book by cuddling up after their adventure.
The illustrations are fresh, bright, and innocently presented. Fred’s wide-eyed expression is enough to lull even the most ardent dog hater into issuing a soft, “Ahhh…” The colors are bright and exciting with plenty of white space to keep the pages from becoming congested. The perspective on the page where Fred falls into the water is also amazing. His puffed out cheeks and innocent panic is evident but never scary for little ones. Fred scampers through the pages with a love and loyalty that is impossible to ignore and eventually makes wish you he’d scamper off the pages and into your lap.
- Bug loves to help read this one. Every time I read the word Fred, I point to him. It is written so often in the book that he’s begun recognizing it. Plus he loves to feel like his contributing to the reading of the story.
I need more!
You’re in luck! There’s more Fred! Mick and Chloë Inkpen also have: I Will Love You Anyway, featuring everyone’s favorite canine. They’ve also done a series called Zoe and Beans, which I am unfamiliar with but looks cute. Mick Inkpen also wrote the Kipper books; we love our A to Z Kipper book.
Add to my library: