Book Review, Children's Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit by Ben Fogle

– Short Review –

Mr Dog is a bit of a free spirit (stray).  He’s a fun seeker but a kind soul.  When a rabbit friend gets trapped he steps in to look after her three babies and aims to get them all reunited again.  What follows is an adventure where they find out what’s behind the mysterious “big new fence”.  Can he bring the family back together again?  A super mix of storytelling and animal facts.
If you like the Animal Ark series by Lucy Daniels you’ll enjoy this

– Longer review –

So, here we have a book by a celebrity, Ben Fogle, but fear not author Steve Cole is lending a hand and, more importantly, Mr Fogle knows his stuff about animals.
That is pretty crucial as this isn’t just a story it’s a reminder about our responsibilities as pet owners as well as an advisory service on what to do if you find an abandoned baby rabbit in the wild.
Before you think this all sounds a bit earnest, fear not, because Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit is also a really charming and feel good tale.
Our titular hero is enjoying an exciting game of tag with Mummy Rabbit one day when she finds herself caught in a trap.  Before they know what’s happening she’s being carried away behind the “new big fence“.  Nobody knows what’s behind it and, frankly, things don’t look good so she asks Mr Dog to take care of the three babies that are currently tucked up in her burrow.
Being a kind hearted canine he does just that – but also finds an abandoned domestic angora rabbit who needs looking after too.  Under Mr Dog’s guidance they decide that they must break in to the strange fenced area and reunite Mummy Rabbit with her babies.
There are plenty of perils along the way from natural predators (other dogs and the red kite) as well as the fear of what may be waiting for them when/if they successfully breach the fence.
Luckily they all find hidden courage and with a bit of pluck and bravery they get their happy endings.
This is the first in a series of books and, with Mr Dog being such a hobo, I can see the potential for lots of fun adventures.  The book is packed full of cute illustrations and has big, easy to read type.  Perfect for kids who are “too old” for picture books but still find page upon page of text daunting.  Plus it gives children the chance to learn a little about animal care and conservation so what’s not to love.
Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit is published by HarperCollins Children’s and is available here.
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Ben Fogle

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Ben Fogle is an award winning Broadcaster and adventurer. He has written 9 Sunday Times Best selling books and is the United Nations Patron of the Wilderness.

Ben has climbed Mount Everest, Rowed across the Atlantic, Raced across Antarctica to the South Pole and crossed the deserts of the Empty Quarter in the Middle East.

He has presented numerous programmes for the BBC, ITV, C5 and Discovery including the hit series New Lives in the Wild

A fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. He is ambassador to WWF, Tusk and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and Patron of The Red Cross and United Nations.

Reviewed by Angela Paull

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