Until I Met Dudley by Roger McGough

Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (ISBN: 978-1847803504)

In this book, the reader is treated to the imaginings of a little girl as she tells us how she thinks everyday things – the toaster, the dish washer etc.- work…until she mets Dudley. Dudley, a very technically minded dog, explains that dragons don’t toast the bread when summoned by the toast gnomes, the fridge isn’t kept cold by special polar bears and rubbish trucks are not full of pigs who eat the garbage! Fantastic images and entertaining text combine perfectly to create this amusing introduction to technology.

This book is an absolute gift to a teacher. It tackles explanation texts in an amusing and creative way. Clearly labelled, scientific diagrams contrast with fantastical imaginings and offer a starting point for countless discussions. Children could create explanations for some of the other ideas at the end of the book or create their own for other household/ everydayitems. Inspired by Chris Riddell’s fabulous, detailed drawings, children could work on their own cross section pictures and labelled diagrams.

However, this book can be used for so much more than explanation writing. It’s the perfect starting point for imaginative writing –who could fail to be inspired by the ideas in the book! The character of Dudley is worth exploring too; why does he know all these things? In addition, the book could be used as the starting point for learning about inventors and their inventions.

Excellent for all children (and teachers!) who like to ask why, this book is well worth exploring.