Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Dad and Mum, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos. Dad demands, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” How will the Thunkies respond to his call?
Purchase Link – https://shop.thunkies.com/
This is such an intriguing concept. A children’s book that is so much more than just a picture book, instead it teaches young children the basics of something called ‘metacognition’ or ‘thinking about thinking’. Essentially this is an awareness of thinking processes, and the essentials have been turned into cartoon characters known as ‘Thunkies’.
It’s a smart book, telling the tale of a dog called Harry. His destructive behaviour sees him about to be ejected by his family – until the Thunkies come to the rescue and allow the family to see why he is thinking the way he is, and how they can steer his thinking and eliminate that behaviour.
It was possibly a bit complex for my six year old at least on the first read, although he was interested in the story and was asking questions – so, that is half the battle! I think further exposure with other upcoming books in the series and getting to know who the Thunkies are, would be advantageous. As an adult, I was really taken with the psychology behind metacognition and I’m definitely interested in learning more…..I actually think I may have got more out of it then my son and I’m already sat thinking and questioning certain behaviours and thought-processes within my own family.
In terms of the actual story, the language used was age appropriate, although I think for my six year old it was sometimes a bit too much for him to take in. Not necessarily a bad thing, as it invited questions and conversation, but I felt that if he were much younger it would possibly be an issue – although that is very child dependent.
The illustrations are plentiful and there is much to look at and discuss even without the words, which I’m always a fan of, particularly as I also have a two year old who was more interested in the pictures of the ‘sad doggie’ than the actual story!
I definitely got much more than I bargained for with this book, and I’m really intrigued by how the series and the concept will develop in the future.
About the Authors/Illustrator
Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his world-wide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.
Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs.
Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wotton-under-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.
Social Media Links
Website – https://thunkies.com/
Shop – https://shop.thunkies.com/
Facebook – @thunkies
Instagram – @thunkies
Pinterest – thunkiesteam
*I received a copy of Home Alone Harry, however the decision to take part in the blog tour was my own and this review forms my honest opinion.