Book Review 100 Dogs and 100 Cats by Michael Whaite

Image of the 100 Dogs book cover.

The little dude and I absolutely love these two books, they are currently our bedtime favourites. We first discovered 100 Dogs when we were shopping in Waterstones one day. It was on display as it has won the Children’s Book Prize and it caught my eye as I love dogs and the little dude and I would both love to get a dog. We took it home and it instantly became a firm favourite! As soon as the 100 Cats came out, it was another must-have for the little dude’s bookshelf.

The great thing about these two books is how they naturally support children’s language development. This is thanks to the one hundred adjectives which are used to describe the cats and dogs and the cleverly used rhythm and rhyme.

Recently, the little dude has taken to “reading’ these stories to me, which is a real treat! He is in pre-school so he has not yet learnt to read in the traditional sense. However, he is able to look at each cat (or dog) on the page and use an adjective to describe it, some he remembers from having heard the story lots and others he makes up from what he can see the cat or dog doing in the picture. What I find particularly fascinating is that he is able to keep the exact rhythm of the story- like I say, we have read these books SO many times! He even completes the end of the sentence as the author does at the end of each page. Rhyme, repetition and predictability make books more memorable for children. It also supports their understanding of the structure of language, which is so important when they are learning to read.

At the end of each book the author asks, “Which dog (or cat) is yours?” We have a cat so we look for the cats which look like her and have some lovely little discussions about the different cats and what they are thinking/how they are feeling and compare them to our cat. We don’t have a dog…yet (!!) but this is even more exciting as we love talking about which dog we’d like to get! This makes this book great propaganda as we both show the little dude’s Daddy which dog we would like him to let us have! One day he will give in!

If you haven’t already, do give these books a try, you won’t be disappointed.

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