Monday, 26 January 2015



Written by Kelly DiPucchio and Illustrated by Christian Robinson 
Published by Simon & Schuster



Leaving the winter books behind us, my latest theme is our favourite four legged friends… Dogs! Though truthfully I am more of a cat person but there’s lots of great books out at the moment and with so many I couldn’t help but do a doggy themed week. To kick things off I've got my hands on the delightful Gaston, and if you're anything like me you'll fall for it's charms instantly!


Je aime Gaston! Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by the talented illustrator Christian Robinson is a story with the message of belonging and family featuring Gaston, a french bulldog puppy (one of my favourites).

We are introduced to Mrs. Poodle and her new puppies - Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La and Gaston. They were perfectly precious and grew, as puppies do, to the size of teacups except the fourth one who grew to the size of a tea pot. Mrs. Poodle made sure they were taught to be proper poodles; to sip and never slobber, to yip and never yap and to walk with grace and never race. Whatever the lesson, Gaston worked the hardest, practised the longest and smiled the biggest. 


Mrs. Poodle was very proud of her puppies and took them to the park for their very first stroll. But there was another little dog family already there, Mrs. Bulldog, and her puppies - Rocky, Ricky, Bruno and Antoinette. But as they sized each other up, the mummy dogs realised there has been a mix up. Gaston and Antoinette are with the wrong families and even they can see the mix up.



They decide to trade places, and though it looks right it doesn’t feel right for poor little Gaston and Antoinette. Antoinette doesn’t like to be proper, precious or pink and Gaston definitely doesn’t like anything brutish or brawny. And they aren’t the only ones having a hard time adjusting.


The following day each family raced back to the park and both Mrs. Bulldog and Mrs. Poodle agreed that they had made a terrible mistake! Gaston and Antoinette waste no time in swapping places and it both looked right and felt right for everyone.


I love Christian Robinson’s illustrations; his textured paint spreads are bright and colourful, and his simplistic characters, which are very cute, make this a lovely book. I like the repeated bold text for the names and sounds which is great for identifying sounds and names to older children and works well with the illustrations. The story is sweet and has a lovely message that family is about love and not appearances. 


I really like this book - I like the French theme, the adorable dogs and the sweet and moving story. I even bought this for a friend for a Christmas present who also likes French Bulldogs (hopefully it will convince her boyfriend that a French Bulldog is the perfect pet). Gaston is aimed at 4-8 years but adults will adore this just as much as any little dog lovers. Gaston is currently only available online (import from the United States) but will soon be coming to UK stores and will be a huge hit! For more information visit S&S website here.

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