Review of ‘Dogography’
Author + Illustrator: Maree Coote
Publisher: Melbournestyle Books
Age Range: lower primary, middle primary, upper primary, adult readers of picture books!
Themes: dogs, dog breeds, dog names, typography, typographic art, art, visual literacy, graphic design.
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Maree Coote is wowing the literary world and young readers alike with her sophisticated picture book offerings of art, information and story, skillfully and riotously smashed together in ways which are refreshingly quirky and utterly engaging.
I reviewed her previous book, ‘Azaria’, a deeply moving book which is now hanging on a wall in my house in my wooden book frame. Now Coote has gone and entirely changed pace with the pure fun of ‘Dogography’ and I can’t decide which book deserves top spot in the book frame.
Each picture in ‘Dogography’‘ is created using only the letters that spell each dog’s name, and is partnered with a playful verse about the breed. The exact fonts used are provided in a key on each page to help readers find all the letter shapes and that spell each dog.
You’ll find these letters waddling’ roundMaree Coote
About an inch above the ground. Dachsund
Year Three to Year Six classes at school have rather gushed over ‘Dogography’ in library lessons recently, so much so that I abandoned all planning to try some dog letter art – much harder than it looks! Our brilliant graphic designer at school kindly sent over an example of her own typographic work (an ice-cream container label so that was always going to be a winner) and we delved a little further into typography as an art form. I love planning….but I love even more the flexibility of being able to deviate from my planning and follow student interests.
Maree Coote has provided a half page of teachers’ notes on the final page of ‘Dogography’, about letter art and dog breeds and this is an excellent starting point. As I often do with each Maree Coote book, I also went back to ‘Spellbound’ which has a comprehensive overview of typography.
Coote is a writer, designer, illustrator, photographer and publisher. She has enjoyed an award-winning career in advertising and in 1994, she and her husband established Melbournestyle. In 2003, the duo added an independent publishing company, Melbournestyle Books, and their many books are multiple award-winners.
The Queen of England’s favourite breed,Maree Coote
Neatly spelled, washed, and de-flead. Corgi