Recommended age: 3+

Oliver and Patch

by Claire Freedman

This is a beautiful book. The illustrations are both chic and cute, so parents and older children will love it as well as the under fives at whom it is aimed.

The story is of Oliver who has moved to the big city with his family. He finds it a lonely and scary place but then he comes across a little dog who seems to be lost, and he feels that at last he’s found a friend and someone he can look after.

But of course Oliver realizes that there is someone missing this little dog, so he shouldn’t keep him, much as he’d like to, and reluctantly he starts to try and find out who owns him.

It is a tough message, actually, because you don’t want these two to be separated, but in doing the right thing, Oliver gets an even better reward. In finding Patch’s owner, he finds another friend, and life looks better than ever.

Claire Freedman is a popular author of children’s books – most notably the underpants series Dinosaurs/Pirates/Aliens/Monsters Love Underpants – and Kate Hindley is building up a beautiful collection of books which she has illustrated for other authors. It’s a really delightful book and one to look at again and again.