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Andrew Wolffe is a writer from Scotland who bases his stories on a little boy who lives in the village of Sandy Bay. This is the first one in a series of many books about Rory and his little dog, Scruff McDuff. Tom Cole provides the illustrations in these books.
This story starts with a little boy called Rory and his dog, Scruff McDuff. They love to play on the sand and to explore the rock pools when the sea seems very far away. Today though they get a bit of a shock when they come face to face with a large creature. Rory soon recognises that it is a whale and that he must be in trouble to be so near the beach.
After a bit of a chat, the whale tells Rory that he has been stranded and that he is very upset as he took a nap and woke up in a wee rock pool. He is frightened that he won't be able to catch up with his family and friends.
Rory decides to get some help from the villagers but despite their best attempts they can't manage to pull him out to sea again, despite tying a rope round him. Rory soon thinks up a plan though and gathers the others round to tell them.
They all decide to surprise the whale by tickling him and every tickle makes the whale wriggle and squirm till he finally manages to jump free and splash into the sea again. He soaks everyone as he does so but they are all happy to see him swimming and don't mind this one bit.
The story ends with Captain Campbell telling Rory what a good job he did.
The drawings in this book are done beautifully with bright and bold colouring that stands out against a mainly white background. The story is written in big lettering for easy reading by youngsters.
This series of books are lovely and I have to admit I like to see a little bit of a Scottish theme when reading to my son, although this one is easy for everyone to understand unlike the Sweetieraptors book that I reviewed a while ago.
The story tells a tale of working together to solve a problem and this is very important message to give to young children. All too often they think that they can do things all by themselves and this book shows that sometimes it's better to have a lot of people to help out.
The story itself is a nice one to tell and of course you just know that there's going to be a happy ending. Its simplicity is what makes it a great read for a young child and the excitement of coming across a whale in a rock pool is funny too. My son loves to explore around the rocks at the beach but I'm pleased to say that this has never happened to him as yet.
Of course this is also an excellent opportunity to discuss with your child about the fact that a whale is a mammal and can live out of water for a short time as it breathes like us, but the tickling thing really shouldn't be tried in real life, unless you want to get hit by a tail.
I've really enjoyed reading this book to my son, almost as much as he's enjoyed listening to it. He's already talking about looking for other books in the series on his next visit to the library so it's obviously a big hit with him. He really seems to like this lovable character in his tartan shorts and blue and white striped top.
***Other Rory Books***
Rory & His Shooting Star
Rory & His Secret Voyage
Rory & His Magic Castle
Rory & His Great Idea
Rory & His Flying Friend
Rory & His Christmas Surprise
***Price & Availability***
This paperback is available for the publishing price of £4.99 from all good bookstores.
ISBN No. 095349490X