Age Range: 3 to 6
If you come and visit us you are very likely to have a copy of Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam waved under your nose. My daughter received it as a birthday present and is very keen to show it to anybody who is likely to sit down and read it with her.
The Story: Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam are two robber dogs who aren’t very good at their job. They decide to rob their neighbours so they invite them to their house for a party. As the neighbours are enjoying Shifty and Sam’s homemade doughnuts and cakes the two dogs sneak out to rob their houses. The neighbours follow them and confront them so Shifty and Sam vow to stop stealing and then put their newfound baking skills to good use by opening a cafe.
Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam’s story is a wonderfully humorous way to show children that stealing is wrong and that it emotionally affects the victims. However, despite their faults Shifty and Sam are likeable characters so it is lovely to share their surprise and delight when they find out that they are good at baking. Steven Lenton’s wonderful illustrations capture their emotions perfectly (especially when they are caught by the neighbours!) and I love the look of concentration on Shifty’s face when he is icing cakes. Shifty and Sam bake a wide variety of delicious looking cakes and we always choose a favourite when we read. There are lots of wonderful comic touches in the illustrations and my daughter enjoys looking for the spider hidden on each page. The rhyming text is easy to read, some pages have a lot more text than others which adds to the story’s suspense and changes the pace according to the action.
A deliciously funny story full of wonderfully illustrated doggy characters and tasty cakes.
Quote from Jessica (age 5) – “The bone cake is funny and very big. I don’t want to eat that.” (referring to a very tall, precarious looking cake made out of a pile of bones).
Our copy of the book is part of the Stories Aloud programme and includes a free audio reading. You can also download a free podcast, more information can be found on the Nosy Crow website.
Shifty and Sam also have their own blog, The Robber Dog Blog, where you can keep up with all their news.