Liam Ryan has written a highly amusing book which is illustrated simply by Hugh Ford. He has given the personality traits of forty-four common breeds of dog and finishes with a comment on the cat. The format is simple and allows for the reader to either flick through the list alphabetically or just look at the illustrations until they find the dog they are looking for.
The front cover, featuring a bulldog, gives an impression of the nature of, but does not clearly allude to the humour the book’s content. If you are looking for a serious guide, this may not be the book for you. There is a witty introduction before the reader launches into looking at the breeds included. The back cover tells you, in no uncertain terms, ‘Whatever pooch you choose to feed, love and pick up the poop of, speaks volumes about what makes you tick.’
Illustrations are easily recognised as the breed portrayed and have little fine detail but are rather an impression of the general appearance. Comments on breed traits cover eating habits, history of the breed, size, personality and sociability. Each breed has a double page, one being comedic and informative comment, the other the illustration.
This would make a great coffee table book, one that guests pick up and thumb through while you are making the coffee, a book to have in a waiting room, that would see clients quietly chortling – matching friends to their dogs or a tongue in cheek gift to your friends who have dogs that are part of their family. Being the owner of lurchers I found the greyhound entry particularly relevant and had a small giggle at its accuracy.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 8
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Release Date: September 2016
RRP: $24.99 hardcover