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This is a charming little story with beautiful illustrations of the chubby, lovable looking Dorps (think friendly abominable snowmen, with the head shape of The Grinch). Dongle return to Dorpington to find the place destroyed, with only one Dorp left - Doodle. The quest begins to find the townspeople and save the day.
I really enjoyed this story and the accompanying illustrations perfect for younger children to enjoy as the story is told. The world created is magical - the ethereal Dingle, to the very scary looking Trungle (a snake-like creature with enormous teeth and hundreds of legs!). The plot moves at a fast pace, which I think will be great for keeping younger readers engaged, and includes clear descriptions of the more magical aspects of the story, allowing the reader to walk alongside Dongle and Doodle as they go looking for the other Dorps.
I particularly enjoyed the prowess of the Dorp's snowball throwing and how this replaces weapons during the rescue, it's a really innovative idea. I found Dongle teaching Doodle how to throw a snowball particularly funny.
There is a flow created by the alliteration used throughout - the repeated use of the 'D' sound in particular- I feel like this could become a tongue twister for any parent reading it out loud. (I would suggest, if in future books there is a focus on more than two Dorps, it could be a bit difficult to keep track of who's who - it might be a nice idea to have a little bit of a 'cast list' bit at the beginning, with an image, the name and perhaps a little description, so children can look through and get better acquainted with the characters.)
It is a brilliant adventure to read with your child, or perhaps for independent readers. I wouldn't want to suggest a particular age range as I think the story itself would suit younger readers however, the amount of text would suit the 7+ age range better (perhaps a 5+/7+ age recommendation?).
Dorps are charming chubby little creatures, just over two thirds of a metre high and covered from the tip of their toes to the top of their little pointy heads in thick straggly white fur.
They have long arms and large hands, short legs and wide-splayed feet - all the better for walking on deep snow. The only thing that sets them apart from Dorp copy-cats, is a tummy pouch in which they carry their food for the day. When the small village of Dorpington is attacked by King Spink's terrifying, fearsome henchmen, the Stompers, it can mean only one thing - the villagers have all been dragged-off to work as slaves in the evil King's mines. The only two surviving Dorps - Dongal and his little friend Doodle, are left with no-choice - they must set-off immediately on an amazing adventure to rescue their friends and families from the Stompers, armed only with their wits and... snowballs!