‘Fidget is not a fetch and carry dog, not a lie by the fire dog.’ He is full of mischief, mayhem and fun. In this gem of a book by Galway author Patricia Forde and illustrator Rachel Saunders, a little girl tells us about her beloved dog, Fidget, who gets up to all sorts of antics to the amusement of his owner. One day, however, when Fidget wanders off and gets lost, he finds himself (somewhat reluctantly) on an epic adventure. He sails the seven seas and gets stranded on a desert island, before eventually finding his way home. Both Fidget and his human are heartbroken at being separated, making their joyous reunion is all the more satisfying.
It’s a story with real heart that explores unconditional love, loss and the bonds of friendship. Fidget isn’t perfect, but it’s his imperfection that makes him loveable. He may not be well-behaved, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t good. Perhaps, most of all, the message here is about accepting people for who they are.
The lyrical writing is well-paced, employing a rhythm and repetition that children will enjoy hearing read aloud. Rachael Saunders’ beautiful illustrations really bring the characters to life. Her classic style is vibrant, humorous and full of energy. Each image adds another layer to the story and there is plenty of colourful detail to keep little ones visually engaged. Fidget the Wonder Dog has the makings of an instant favourite that children will want to return to time and time again.