The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog

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Written by: Clare Balding
Illustrated by: Tony Ross

A funny and heart-warming new animal story published especially for World Book Day 2018, from brilliant and best-selling author Clare Balding.

Take a sneak peek inside:

What the Toppsta reviewers think:

‘A wonderful story especially perfect for those who love dogs. It tells the story of Fennel growing up and how she acts like a dog. This is because she has a great relationship with her dog Twiglet. The characters in this book are likeable and the plot is funny and heartwarming. The Tony Ross illustrations are a added bonus to what is already a fantastic book. My favourite character is Fennel because she is quirky. ‘ – Addie, age 7

‘This book is fantastic to read. This book is about a girl fennel who when she is born has a fantastic relationship with her family dog called twiglet. They have such a great bond that fennel starts to think she’s a dog and act like one. Obviously this isn’t good when it come to her going to school and twiglet trys to help her. This book if has fantastic illustrations too. I’d definitely recommend this book for the dog lovers and anyone who wants to read a fantastic book.’  – Leon, age 11

‘We love this book. Leo has a very special bond with his grandfather’s dog and this book reminds me of that.  It is such a wonderful story depicting so beautifully the relationship that humans and animals can create between each other. It also addresses subtly how bullying can occur and how to best react in that situation. It is beautifully written in an easy-to-read style with lovely illustrations.’ – TCR75 read to Leo, age 9

‘I really enjoyed reading The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog! It made me laugh out loud. My favourite character was probably Count Basil, but I liked Fennal too because she reminds me of me!  I love dogs, so it’s a five star review from me! (Not just because I love dogs!)’ – Orla, age 8

Read more reviews on

To get a free World Book Day 2018 in braille or on audio call the RNIB Helpline at 0303 123 9999 or email If you would like to request a copy of a World Book Day 2018 title in large print, please call Guide Dogs on 0118 983 8275 or visit their website here.

    About the Author

    Clare Balding

    When she was young, Clare Balding thought she was a dog. Disappointed to discover she was only human, she did her best to spend every waking hour with dogs and ponies. She could ride before she could walk and, growing up surrounded by racehorses trained by her father, she dreamt of winning the Grand National or riding for Great Britain at the Olympics. Those dreams never came true but the consolation prize hasn’t been bad. As a television and radio presenter, Clare has worked at six Olympic Games, the highlight being London 2012, as well as the Winter Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, the Grand National, Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and the Ryder Cup.

    Twitter: @_clarebalding
    Facebook: clarebaldingofficial

    About the Illustrator

    Tony Ross

    Tony Ross is one of the most popular and successful of all children’s illustrators, with many picture books to his name. He has also produced line drawings for many bestselling fiction titles, including David Walliams and Astrid Lindgren.