Title: Oh, Albert!
Author: Davina Bell
Illustrator: Sara Acton
Publisher: Penguin Random House
RRP: $24.99

The front end papers of this picture book indicate what Albert might be like. He is adorable, but when no one is looking he gets into all sorts of mischief. He chews swimming goggles, bicycle helmets and ribbons from ballet shoes. He is a real nuisance, to all members of the family. But when Albert eats something dogs should not eat and becomes very sick, his family reconsider how much of a nuisance he is.

This is a wonderful picture book for a young audience. The narrative is structured so the reader can guess what each member of the family might do the day after Albert chews something of theirs. The borderless pages and uncluttered illustrations also make this perfect for this age group. Many young readers will be familiar with the activities of the family, including ballet, cycling, and swimming, and Albert’s antics.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Australia for supplying this book for review.

Possible activities and discussion starters:

  • Discuss what dogs should, and shouldn’t eat. Why does chocolate make dogs sick? Ask a vet to come and talk to the children about dog and pet care.
  • Young children love sharing stories about their pets. Have their pets ever chewed, or eaten, something they shouldn’t?
  • The front and back end pages are different, with the front end pages showing Albert running and the back end pages showing him lying asleep in his bed. Discuss how these help the story. Look at other books where the end pages contribute to the beginning and ending of the story. Some examples are Shutting the Chooks In by Libby Gleeson and Anne James, Too many Elephants in This House Ursula Dubosarsky and Andrew Joyner, Silver Buttons by Bob Graham, The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers and I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. Look through the library (school or local) for other picture books with similar end papers.
  • Have the children bring in a photo of their dog, or pet, and make a pet portrait wall.