McTavish the rescue dog returns in this charming and witty third instalment of life with the Peachey family.
McTavish is not just any dog. McTavish is a rescue dog and he has made it his mission to rescue the Peachey family. So far he has done a pretty good job of it, having gently encouraged tidiness and healthy eating in book one McTavish progressed to introducing the family to the wonders of nature and exploring the flora and fauna in book two. Just as McTavish may have been tempted to relax and rest on his laurels a little, for indeed the Peacheys were now a much better and happier family, Pa Peachey takes up baking. Unfortunately his plans for entering the local bake off competition far exceed his baking skills. Can McTavish come to the rescue yet again?
This book is an absolute delight. Meg Rosoff has created in McTavish a canine version of a wise and world weary grandparent overseeing the daily mayhem that is family life for the Peacheys. Told with a dry wit coupled with an understanding of people and what makes them tick this charming novella should appeal to a wide audience. It is a title in the Conkers range by Barrington Stoke targeted at readers who may find the standard middle grade titles too overwhelming and also has the advantage of being dyslexia friendly in appearance. However the content should appeal to anyone who enjoys a good story, especially those who like their reading to be humorous.
The members of the Peachey family made me smile for a variety of reasons. The individual and very different characters are entertaining and the family conversations extremely well observed. It is Pa Peachey who takes centre stage in this instalment desperate to show off his ‘skills’. The despairing children are mortified at his attempts to create a model of the Palace of Versailles, in intricate detail, out of gingerbread! Ma Peachey believes that following your dreams is important and is reluctant to dissuade Pa from entering the competition so it is McTavish who must come up with a cunning plan to save face. There is a subtle message about the importance of keeping fit in this story too. The rejected gingerbread pieces find a way into McTavish’s dog bowl and onto nine year old Betty’s plate and both of them have expanding waistlines and feel rather ill as a result. Another problem for McTavish to solve.
The illustrations add greatly to the appeal of this book and are by Grace Eaton and David Shepherd. There is a recipe for making gingerbread at the end of the book for any aspiring Bake Off contestants. You don’t have to have read the first two books to enjoy this one but I think you would enjoy Good Dog McTavish and McTavish Goes Wild just as much.
A big thank you to Kirstin Lamb at Barrington Stoke who provided my free copies of all three books. I had a very happy time reading them. McTavish Takes the Biscuit was published in May. The first chapter is available to read on the Barrington Stoke website