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Fiona Cummings

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The Extremely Very Scrambled Up World of Little Doogs
by Fiona Cummings  Ian Sanders 

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Publisher:  Matador ISBN-10:  1848760957 Type: 


Copyright:  February 10th 2009 ISBN-13:  9781848760950

The Schnoops

All Little Doogs wants is a place he can settle down in. The problem is that he and the rest of The Schnoops are always on the move. Schnoss has promised that this time things will be different but his foray into the world of yoghurt pot raincoats reaches a messy end and The Schnoops are on the move again. Will Little Doogs ever find a place he can call home?

 The Schnoops will have you laughing your socks off! Meet Honey, a very confident bunny with a love of shoes. Then there's Schnoss, the ever-organised dog with a new business idea forever up his sleeve; Jezza, the 'rubbish artist' and snooze-loving giraffe; Trevor the elephant chef from Holland, and not forgetting Little Doogs, a puppy with a love of collecting for his ever-expanding scrap-book. These are The Schnoops and welcome to The Extremely Very Scrambled Up World of Little Doogs, a place where you never know what's around the corner but you can bet it will involve bacon sandwiches and a road trip somewhere.

is the brainchild of Fiona Cummings and Ian Sanders. In the first book of the series, Playing The Road Trip Game, Little Doogs is a puppy with a problem. All he wants is a place he can call home. The problem is that he and the rest of The Schnoops are always on the move in their funky old caravan. Schnoss has promised that this time things will be different. Unfortunately though, his foray into the world of yoghurt-pot raincoats reaches a messy end and The Schnoops are on the move again.

Professional Reviews

From 'Bookbag'
My eldest daughter is now five and a half and is really enjoying the progress she is making with her reading. With this in mind, I have been looking out for books which are a bit longer than our usual picture books and which she will have a chance of reading for herself. The Extremely Scrambled Up World of Little Doogs - Playing the Road Trip Game is ideal because it is an enjoyable story using accessible language and has just over seventy five pages so it is more of a substantial read.

Little Doogs is a cute little dog who is one of the Schnoops. These are a group of animals who live and work together. Little Doogs is the smallest and youngest and what he wants more than anything else is to find somewhere to call home. Unfortunately, due to the antics of some of the other Schnoops, the group has to move around a lot in order to escape their angry customers. Before the story starts, the reader is introduced to all the Schnoops through a series of profile pages. There is Schnoss, the somewhat inept 'business boss'; Honey, a bossy rabbit with attitude; Trevor, a laid back elephant and Jezza, a lazy giraffe who likes to create sculptures out of rubbish. Having met such a wierd and wonderful set of characters you know that you are in for a good read before you even start.

At the beginning of the story the Schnoops are in trouble after selling a number of raincoats made out of yoghurt pots which unfortunately turn to mush and goo the moment it starts raining. The rest of the story follows their attempts to get to PoshPlace OnSea where they believe they will be able to make a fresh and exciting start. However, it's not an easy place to find, and with such a set of disparate characters there are many mishaps and arguments along the way. This is not helped when Little Doogs sets fire to the map and Jezza almost directs them into the river. All of these happenings contribute to this being a very enjoyable and amusing book.

The book is divided into thirteen short chapters and it's easy to read two or three of these per night which means that you can easily read the whole story in less than a week. My daughter certainly enjoyed reading a longer book and we always started by remembering what we had read about the night before, and, as it is a fairly simple story this is easy to do. The language is also reasonably straightforward and my daughter enjoyed having a go at bits, but also liked having me there to fill in some of the gaps and also to take over at times so that she could just enjoy listening. I think the book could easily be read by a typical Year 2 or Year 3 reader.

The story is very enjoyable and easy to follow and we like the way that it is set out on the page. The story is mainly written as a third person narrative but at other times we are able to read extracts from Little Doogs' diary. We really enjoyed these additional insights and it is funny to see how he gets some words muddled up. For example, when they are trying to find the correct route to PoshPlace On Sea, he talks about how Jezza is 'nab the gating' because he has heard Schnoss talking about 'navigating'! I'm sure that much of the humour is added for the parent's enjoyment too. At times, words dance across the page or are in bold or even placed on signposts which all add to the reading experience. The text is also supplemented with a number of entertaining drawings although it is a shame that none are in colour.

We did not realise until the end of the book that this is just the first in a series and I think my daughter was slightly disappointed that the ending was not more conclusive. However, I've promised her that we will get the next one when it is published so that we can find out exactly what happens next. She is particularly pleased about this as we have been enticed by a very short extract from the next one - A Moving Story - which has been placed at the back of the book!

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