Inspiring Young Readers

posted on 16 Apr 2024

No, Nancy, No! A Dog Chase in New York by Alice Tait

Here at The Letterpress Project we are huge fans of innovative and well-conceived lift-the-flap books – and this is a humdinger! And, just to plop a cherry on the top, there’s a pop-up in there too.

A well-constructed lift-the-flap book opens up so may opportunities for the author because it not only means you can expand your story well beyond the actual space available on a flat page but it also gives you the opportunity to spring little surprises on the reader. Alice Tait has taken full advantage of this flexibility and, together with the exuberant illustrative style, this is a book full of colour, life and brio.

Nancy and her dog, Roger are beside themselves with excitement because they’re off to New York to attend a show at a famous theatre – they’re off to Dogs! The Musical. As they stand outside the theatre, they spot Candy, the poodle who is the star of the show. She’s waiting for her minder and is attached by a beautiful sparkling lead to a fire hydrant. Maybe, Nancy thinks, I could hold that lovely lead – as long as I don’t let go.

Well, you can guess what happens next! Off course, Candy escapes and heads off to an open taxi which whisks her away. What can Nancy and Roger do but set out in pursuit because they have to get her back to theatre before the big show starts that evening…….. And so, the chase across New York starts.

The problem is, however, that New York is far too exciting and Nancy is constantly being distracted – despite Roger constantly shouting ‘No, Nancy!’ and trying to keep the girl on track. A carousel, a zoo, a doggy disco all get in the way and when Candy manages to get carried across to the Statue of Liberty by a huge bunch of balloons, can Nancy and a pack of doggy friends finally save Candy who has become tangled-up on the statues raised arm?

Well, I’ve probably told you more than I should about the chase across the big city and to discover how it ends, you’ll need to get yourself a copy. What I will tell you is that the book has a lovely detail at the end – a fold-out map of the route of the chase that you can track the progress of Candy on.

This is one of a series of three books under the heading ‘No, Nancy, No!’ and they are all great fun and wonderfully colourful and intriguing. These are books that will be perfect for children to read on their own and spend time looking at the detail and discovering new things under the flaps but, I think, the full richness of the fun will really come through if the book is shared with an adult.

Available now from Walker Books, you will be able to get a copy from your local independent bookshop – who will be happy to order it for you if they don’t have copies on their shelves.

Terry Potter

April 2024