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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Tig and Tog: The Discovery

Written and Illustrated by Sally Garland
Publisher: Top That, 2015

This is a lovely simple story in which dog friends Tig and Tog are playing in the park, Tig is initially reluctant to share her stick, but together the friends make an exciting discovery and work together to uncover more of the surprise in the ground. Tig and Tog have to use various tools to dig up their find. 3 year old Edie excitedly recalled that a wheelbarrow would be used, while 5 year old Bert remembered (with two pages to go) what the big find would be- a dinosaur skeleton!

The story builds up nicely, slowly and quietly, starting with the friends using very basic tools to dig at the ground, sticks in the mud, moving on to spades and then even diggers. The overriding message inTig and Tog: The Discovery is about achieving more when working together and sharing ideas and 'things' (in this case tools to dig, but possessions in general are inferred). That's a useful message to bring to squabbling siblings, or to open up discussion on themes of friendship, sharing and cooperation. My children like the back page of the book which shows a dinosaur skeleton on display, reading 'Found by Tig and Tog with a stick' though it's easy to miss on the outro sheet. 
This is a simple, quiet and charming book, with light watercolour style graphics, sweet but fairly unmemorable characters. The book appealed visually more to female Edie on first sight ( the gendered appropriation of light pastel shades had a hand here I think), but the narrative itself was well received by both 3-5year olds (boy and girl) sharing this story tonight. 

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