Tuesday 29 July 2014

Dirty Bertie: Rats! From the Little Tiger Press

Dirty Bertie is a really different style of book for my 5 year old. It is on rough paper and has no colour images inside. When he saw it, he was instantly dismissive, which led to a discussion about why you need colour photo's in a book, and 'judging a book by it's cover'.

Dirty Bertie: Rats! From the Little Tiger Press review

Actually the illustrations by David Roberts are lovely, and perfectly accompany the text written by Alan MacDonald. Full of emotion, you can really see how the characters feel.

Dirty Bertie: Rats! From the Little Tiger Press example inside page

This book contains 3 stories - Rats!, Runner! and Dog Food!

Rats! is 30 pages long and itself split into bitesized chapters. It is a great story which starts when Mum finds the cereal box has been nibbled and there are mouse droppings in the cupboard. Bertie doesn't want to kill the mouse, so he devises a safe trap to try and catch it before his parents do....it's very funny and very sweet, and as a parent I can read it with a wry smile thinking of the daft plans all my children have had over the years, while my 4 and 5 year old boys empathise with Bertie and see it from his point of view.

Dirty Bertie: Rats! From the Little Tiger Press review inside page image

And so it turns out that you absolutely do not need colour illustrations in a book. We all loved it. The language is nice and simple, with a really good selection of interesting words and concepts thrown in. It challenges the younger reader, but then it immediately gives clues so that they don't feel defeated. A great example of this is that my 4 and 5year olds didn't know what 'droppings' were, but on the very next page they're referred to as 'tiny poos'- explained. I noticed several insances like this in this book, and I really liked it because my boys had to think for themselves, but if my 5 year old had been attempting to read the book alone, he wouldn't have become frustrated.

This is Dirty Bertie's 23rd book, he's celebrating his 10th birthday this year, and we think he's great. I'm stunned I haven't come across him before, but I will certainly be looking out for him again. The stories are funny and interesting, and Bertie is very likeable all round.

Dirty Bertie: Rats! is published by the Little Tiger Press and is available at all good book shops. It has 96 pages and has a recommended retail price of £4.99. I think it's a lovely book, especially for early readers aged 4+ to read alongside a confident reader, or for confident readers to read alone from around 5-6 to 9.

We were sent Dirty Bertie: Rats! to review.


  1. Very cool book. Already read it several times to my son, and he still asks for it. I would recommend to all parents.

  2. I think for these young age, they like colourful stuffs. I would also love coloured one. Lol.
    Lovely book!

  3. Hmmmm something I could maybe get the Monkey to encourage him to read more, any book that talks about poo has to be a winner !


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