Illustrated by the author
First published by Puffin, 1988
Today is one of those days for lying down on the grass and looking up at the clouds and imagining what all the shapes could be. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Lynley Dodd’s little board book has nudged me in that direction this afternoon and I find myself looking out of the window and letting my mind wander around wishes and things that might be.
In this little board book, Susie Fogg has taken Sam her dog for a walk along Jackson’s Stream. While she is there, with the lead in her hand and the grass and trees all around, her mind wanders and she wishes and imagines just what it might be like if Sam was something more than a dog.
“Sam,” she said,
You’re very good,
you never bark or bite.
The holes you dig
are not TOO big,
and you’re always home
But just this once
it might be fun
if you changed from dog,” she said.
“To something HUGE
or something FIERCE
or something ODD
After these lively, bouncing, rhyming words we follow Susie and all her various imaginative transformations of Sam. He is a dragon in a wagon, a bat with a hat, a whale in a pail, a chimp with a limp, a shark in the dark and more!
But after tripping over a mossy log, Susie is glad to find her beloved Sam right there beside her. After all, we could wish our lives away and never truly appreciate what we have already.
Lynley Dodd is best known for her award-winning picture books about Hairy Maclary and his friends: Slinky Malinki, Scarface Claw, Schnitzel von Krumm and others. From New Zealand, her picture books have been loved and celebrated around the world and have sold millions of copies.
I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-6 years, and below are more suggestions for picture books which explore using your imagination, making wishes, and asking yourself the intriguing “What if…?” question: