Dogge delar ut paket is a seek-and-find book written and illustrated by Tor Freeman and translated into Swedish by Suzanne Öhman. It tells the story of a day in the life of Dogge, a canine postal carrier in a bustling town. Via scooter, Dogge delivers one package at a time to grateful professionals in a museum, a laboratory, a greenhouse, a market square, and a theatre. All recipients have been waiting on their respective package contents, and the reader is able to see just how each package will be used. Dogge’s final package of the day is his own daughter’s birthday present.
This book has all the silly, colorful, engaging illustrations you would expect with a seek-and-find book. What stands out to me is that, aside from one hungry child, the characters in this book are friendly and joyful, playfully interacting with each other and their environment. This is a happy town.
When I first met my husband, I bought a Swedish-English picture dictionary for children, thinking it would be perfect for learning vocabulary words. It turned out that no one was interested. It’s pretty boring to thumb through words and pictures with no context or storyline. What I have discovered now is that seek-and-find books easily overcome that hurdle. At the bottom of every other page of Dogge delar ut paket, the reader is asked to find seven things on that page, which means by the end of the book, my kids have learned the names of forty-two items without even realizing it. Perfect. A bonus is that many of the items have adjectives to describe them like “en sjungande mus” and “en randig halsduk,” so we learn even more.
The storyline text is simple enough for me to read and for the kids to understand with no problem. I really like that the characters speak to each other in small dialogue bubbles and use everyday, colloquial expressions like “tjena” and “oj” that are typically omitted from Swedish courses or other language resources. It’s also helpful for a beginner to understand how sounds are conceived in the new language, and this book has several good ones that were new to me: pust, gäsp, tjoff, and pling plong.
Seek-and-find books are a reliable genre for entertaining children, but Dogge delar ut paket is unusually beneficial for the new Swede and no doubt fun for all families.