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Paul Jennings is one of Australia’s most loved and best selling authors, with over 100 books to his credit. He is probably best known in the UK for his story collections including Unbelievable! and Unreal!. The top-rating TV series Round the Twist was based on a selection of his enormously popular short-story collections such as Unseen!
Over the past 50 years Paul has worked as a special school teacher, a speech pathologist, a lecturer in reading education and an author. A Different Dog draws on all of these experiences.
In a nutshell: exciting, unusual rescue story set in Australia’s dense forest A Different Dog is the story of the special relationship that develops between a boy and a dog and how it saves them both. It’s beautifully told in short, spare sentences that will make it accessible to all readers, and full of unexpected twists. The boy at the centre of the story – we never learn his name – is poor, lonely and bullied by other children because of his selective mutism. The dog he rescues from a car crash that has killed its owner is subject to its own set of painful compulsions, finding out why is one of the surprises and rewards of the story. This will absorb readers, from the opening page to its warm, uplifting final line. Readers will also enjoy Pippa Goodhart’s A Dog Called Flow, which tells another satisfying story of the special, healing bond between a boy and a dog. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from the Publisher Ruth Huddleston: “From the moment he wakes up on the floor, his dilapidated bed having been chopped for firewood, my heart went out to our plucky narrator and I wanted to know his story. His life is quite literally an uphill struggle, but his instinct to help others leads him to a healing bond with an extraordinary little dog and ultimately to find his voice again. You will empathise with the boy when he’s bullied for having to wear his mother’s old pink coat, with a bin bag pulled over against the rain, but he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He doggedly persists until he achieves his goals – working hard to understand what the little dog is trying to communicate to him. The final twist of the story highlights the lightness of touch and humour throughout.” A note from the author: I have had a number of different occupations over the last fifty years: a special school teacher, a speech pathologist, a lecturer in reading education and an author. A Different Dog draws on many experiences in these fields. And of course, it also draws on my own childhood. If you ask me, ‘Where did the story come from?’ that’s another thing altogether. I will have to say that I don’t know. It was a matter of putting my hand into the lucky dip of my own mind. There are many presents in that barrel and they are all wrapped so you don’t know what you are going to get. One of the influences on a writer would have to be the books that he or she has read themselves. An author cannot copy another’s work and each writer must find their own voice. But somewhere in the back of our minds are tucked the stories we have enjoyed in the past. Of the books that I loved when I was aged between thirteen and fifteen I can think of three which I turn back to and read again and again. They are still readily available more than fifty years later. Teenagers and adults love these stories. I still have my old copies and like to look at their torn and worn covers which beckon me from years gone by. Here they are: Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. A boy and a runaway slave on the Mississippi River. How I wished I was on that raft. And little did I know that I would still be amazed by their wonderful adventures all these years later. The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. A girl, a bird and disabled man feature in this moving story. When you finish it you just know that there is an untold truth hinted at within the main story and it makes you think for weeks after you have read it. The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. This is a lovely story about a boy, an old man and a fish. Exciting, sometimes sad but always making you ask yourself, ‘Could I ever do that?’ I don’t know if these authors influenced me when I wrote, A Different Dog but if you read any of them you might like to give it some thought. I can tell you how I think A Different Dog came into being. When I was eight years old, I had to bury a dead dog. This unpleasant memory was the starting point for my new book. I began writing about how I felt while I was digging the grave for the poor animal. But as the story developed I dropped this bit out altogether and came up with a dog named Chase that was alive but very strange indeed. As the wrapping paper came off, something else revealed itself and the story changed completely. It was not about death any more but had ended up being about … Well, what do you think? Paul Jennings, 2017
'The ship was a towering fortress looming over the pier. Anton stared enviously at the emigrants lining up in front of the wide gangplank. Heading off on a voyage to a land of peace and plenty. Leaving the land of broken buildings and crushed hopes behind. Looking forward to sunshine and steaks. How he wished that he was one of the lucky ones.' Loosely based on Paul Jennings' journey to Australia as a 'ten pound Pom', the story of Anton, who escapes from an orphanage and successfully stows away on a boat headed for the land of 'sunshine and steaks' has a timeless reality of its own. It is a tale of loss, guilt, mistaken identity and taking risks but also surprisingly heartwarming and heartbreaking. Perfect for reluctant readers in upper primary and lower secondary, it speaks of loss, migration, reslience and courage. Beautifully illustrated by Geoff Kelly.
The child narrator of A Different Dog can't speak - we assume it is from a disability or a reaction to a trauma in his past. He is teased by the other kids and is a loner. On a cold winter's day, when everyone is participating in a fun run on the mountain, our narrator finds himself alone at the scene of a car accident where the driver has died. But there is a little dog in the car... What follows is a moving story of survival and redemption (and somehow humour in the midst of all that), all told in a 96-page novella.
Even before all this happened I had never been like the other kids. I tried not to be seen. If I climbed a tree or hid among the bins, no one could find me. 'Where's What's His Name?' they'd say.Then, one weekend, I got what I wanted. First, I blended in with things. But on the second day I changed.I mean, really changed.The hilarious story of a boy with an unusual problem, from children's book legend Paul Jennings. Includes fantastic look-and-find colour illustrations.
Ricky is an ordinary ten-year-old boy, who dreams of being famous. And he has a secret that might just help him realise this dream. Because Ricky can fly. Truly. He can really fly. But there's a hitch. He can only fly when absolutely no one is looking. If a person, or an animal, or a bird sees him while he's flying, he will fall out of the sky and almost certainly die. Will he risk flying in public, just for a shot at being something more than ordinary? Saving chickens from a flood, escaping a raging bushfire and impressing Samantha (again!) are just some of Ricky's challenges in these two hilarious stories, told in words and cartoon pictures.
Ricky is an ordinary boy, about 10 years old, who dreams of being famous. And he has a secret that might just help him realise this dream. Because Ricky can fly. Truly. He can really fly. But there's a hitch. He can only fly when absolutely no one is looking. If a person, or an animal, or a bird sees him while he's flying, he will fall out of the sky and almost certainly die. Will he risk flying in public, just for a shot at being something more than ordinary? The third book in this brilliant new series contains two complete stand-alone stories, broken into short chapters, liberally illustrated with hilarious cartoons.
Ricky is an ordinary boy, about 10 years old, who dreams of being famous. And he has a secret that might just help him realise this dream. Because Ricky can fly. Truly. He can really fly. But there's a hitch. He can only fly when absolutely no one is looking. If a person, or an animal, or a bird sees him while he's flying, he will fall out of the sky and almost certainly die. Will he risk flying in public, just for a shot at being something more than ordinary? The first book in this brilliant new series contains two complete stories, broken into short chapters, liberally illustrated with hilarious cartoons.
From the magic pen of Paul Jennings and starring the ever-popular Singenpoo ...Mice, madness and mayhem from The Paw Thing. More claws, cliff-hangers and crackpots from Singenpoo Strikes Again. Muddles, puddles and pee from Singenpoo Shoots Through. Bare bottoms and bombs from Singenpoo's Secret Weapon. CATS RULE THE WORLD!
A strange and startling new collection from this great teller of fantastic tales. Just a taste - Jason keeps his dead mother's hat as a memento and is fiercely possessive of it, taking it with him to the wildlife sanctuary where his father lives. His father gives him a gruelling task that results in a terrible choice - the hat will save a life and reveal an astonishing truth. In another story, there's a court case to determine the fate of Sandy, the family's smelly dog, and an old man gives new meaning to speaking through your bottom . Then, when is kissing not kissing? The distinction gets blurred for Jeremy after he buys the love of his life a guppy for her birthday.
This title presents another collection of wacky and varied short stories, stories to be read and enjoyed at a sitting. They're about a boy who is able to grow new fingers, but not always in the right places; the dead dog that isn't quite what it seems; the last request of a grandfather; a man-eating ghost; a parrot that teaches unpleasant lessons and much more.
A selection of the best short stories from Paul Jennings' earlier Puffin titles. Everyone is entirely different but all are wacky and extraordinary. Subjects range from the longest kiss ever, to a boy who becomes transparent - and the stories are all unpredictable!
I'm uncovered... I try to hide my nakedness with my hand. But it doesn't work. Everyone can see. Also on show... Bad rabbit habits. Rapt - in toilet paper. Birds with teeth. A live face on the wall. A collection of brilliant and bizarre stories from the amazing Paul Jennings.
Believe it or not ... a kid can grow younger; birds can bury you; ghosts have exams; there are eyes in the milk. A brilliant collection of funny, weird and whacky short stories from Paul Jennings.
A reunion of bones. An irresistible kisser. Wonder underpants. Cow-dung custard. It's all a bit much really! A brilliant collection of funny, weird and whacky short stories with strange endings from the award-winning Paul Jennings.
A collection of eight quirky, bizarre, and very funny short stories from the brilliant Paul Jennings.
Unmentionable? Sure. But I'll try to tell you anyway... The mouth organ is inside my mouth. It is stuck in sideways. The pain is terrible. My eyes water. Some things you just can't talk about. Locked in the loo. Kissing a cold, cold kid. Being a little squirt. Burning your behind. Unmentionable short stories from the brilliant Paul Jennings.
Quirky? You can say that again ...I have an eye on my finger and a little face in my throat. I start to cry. Tears fall down my face. And down my finger. The eye on my finger is shedding tears too. You'll be speechless. A strangling rose. A ghost chicken. A tiny hole for a mouth. A living copy - of yourself. Football toads.
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