My Little Man loves this story about an overweight dog named Pat who’s unhappy about being put on a diet. I think it’s the pictures that make it such a favourite.
The illustrations expand on the text beautifully, showing us what has happened to Pat to make him fat and the lifestyle changes he needs to make to be healthy. My Little Man points at many of the drawings, laughing and exclaiming in delight. He particularly likes the picture where the dog refuses to go for a walk, so he is being pushed in the pram while the toddler walks alongside.
It has about a sentence or two per page and extra detail in the pictures to talk about. There’s underlying messages about parents making tough decisions because that’s what’s best for those they love, as well as the importance of diet and exercise. There’s opportunities to practice saying the days of the week, to talk about feelings and even homelessness.
Or you could just enjoy the delightful tale about a dog.
Fat Pat was written and illustrated by New Zealand-born Australian Kilmeny Niland, who collaborated on many books with her twin Deborah, before dying in 2009. Interestingly, Niland came from a family of writers. Her father D’Arcy Niland was a journalist and author and her mother, Ruth Park, wrote the Muddle Headed Wombat series, among other works.
Fat Pat is a great kid’s picture book and I’d recommend reading it to children from birth to six years or so. It’s also a great book for emerging readers to try reading to you.
I haven’t been able to find Fat Pat for sale online, but it’s worth borrowing from your local library.
This book kids love is written and illustrated by Kilmeny Niland, 32pp. Published in Sydney by HarperCollinsPublishers, 2010. ISBN: 9780733328411.