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The Bark Book by Victoria McKinlay, illustrated by Beth Harvey

Title: The Bark Book

A brown and white dog bows down to a tree on green grass. The Bark Book is in blue cursive above the dog. The book is by Victoria McKinlay and illustrated by Beth Harvey.

Author: Victoria McKinlay, illustrated by Beth Harvey

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: ABC Books/HarperCollins

Published: 7th July 2021

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: A charming new picture book, full of barks and plenty of heart.

Dog bark.

Tree bark.

Let’s go see bark.

The perfect picture book for animal-lovers and nature-lovers everywhere, from rising stars Victoria Mackinlay and Beth Harvey.


How many different barks do dogs have? Is this something you have often wondered, or wanted to ask your own dog? Anyone who has watched or read 101 Dalmatians will know about the Twilight Bark, the message system that parents Pongo and Perdita use to find their beloved litter of puppies – and find an additional 84 puppies with them! But what other barks to dogs have?

Allow fantastic author Victoria McKinlay to answer that for you! As the dog in the story goes through his day, each moment is marked with a bark, and lots of rhyming with the words that accompany the bark to build on vocabulary, literacy and understanding of how words work together to create rhymes and simple sentences. Each page has no more than three or four words, and the story is as much about visual literacy.

Beth Harvey’s illustrations do just as much work as Victoria’s words, showing the actions and the environment that accompanies the short, choppy words that will keep younger readers engaged and be fun for older siblings to read to younger siblings, especially those starting out on their reading journey.

This is one of those beautiful books that has something for everyone who engages with it. For me, I loved reading about the dog going about its day, barking here and there, and exploring its beautiful outside world. It is a comforting read, and one that takes place in a small world. We all have small worlds that we live in, like the dog in this story. It captures so much joy through the dog and its excitement throughout the day that it will just bring a smile to the reader’s face.

There have been some amazing picture books lately, as well as some fantastic books for all readers by Australian authors. This is just one example of the brilliantly vibrant and diverse talent that we have in Australia, and I hope readers of all ages will enjoy this latest offering from Victoria McKinlay.

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