Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton

Published by Nosy Crow (ISBN: 978-0857631466)

These two dog burglars are useless criminals so they decide to rob their neighbours by asking them to a party…

Written in rhyme, this story is a pleasure to read aloud as it flows beautifully and the words have been chosen with such care-‘In the dead of night, when the moon yawned down…’ 

Although a simple tale of good triumphing and baddies turning over a new leaf, a real sense of character is developed and you share the dogs’ emotions as they bumble along. The illustrations are just perfect and work so well with the text in conveying their feelings- the illustrator, Steven Lenton, must be a dog lover (as well as a talented artist!) to have captured this so well! Each spread needs to be lingered over and enjoyed- my particular favourite is the cut through of the house!

There are so many things that could be done with this lovely book and a class of children. The rhyming language is infectious and will have them joining in in no time; the excellent vocabulary choices are perfect for discussing and exploring character; the theme is an excellent way of opening discussion, not only about the wrongs of stealing, but of how our actions affect others and how we can all find something we are good at. 

The book has a Stories Aloud code that allows you to hear the story being read and there is a lovely video clip of Tracey Corderoy talking about the inspiration for the book. There’s also a lovely book trailer which might inspire children to do book reviews in a different way!

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam even have a blog. Have a look at what they have been up to recently.