What if dogs could walk, talk and go to work?
Raymond, the latest collaboration from French brothers Yann and Gwendal Le Bec, answers this question for us. The titular Raymond is described in the opening pages as ‘a happy dog…a good dog, too’. He lives with a family who adore him, even going as far as to throw him surprise parties for his birthday each year. But Raymond has bigger dreams beyond this existence, and one day, he decides to try sitting up at the table with his family while eating his dinner. This leads him to start acting increasingly human, such as walking on his hind legs and taking himself out for walks and appointments at the doggie hair salon. A number of his canine peers follow suit, accompanying their humans on trips to the cinema and café. Eventually, though, Raymond decides he wants more, and he soon finds himself being hired as a writer with ‘Dogue’ magazine (see what they did there?). But his high-flying media career begins to take its toll on him, and he soon learns that a dog’s life isn’t as bad as he first thought after all.
Not only is the story highly amusing and charmingly told, it is brought to life by the brightly coloured illustrations that portray a world we are all comfortably familiar with. When Raymond hits the big time he can be seen working on his articles with used coffee cups and energy drink cans littered around his laptop, and eventually our hero learns a valuable lesson in having time for his loved ones as well as his new found lot in life, and this could certainly be taken on board by many adults in the same situation.
Raymond is a charming and highly amusing story, with plenty for adults to enjoy as well as the children they will read it to.
Image courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Raymond by Yann Le Bec and Gwendal Le Bec.
Raymond, published by Walker Books, is out now.