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Review: Cheeky Dogs, To Lake Nash and Back

DION BEASLEY JOINS FORCES once again with Johanna Bell after two successful forays into the world of children’s writing.

By Kingsley Gittins

This time, they tell Dion’s story – from growing up in Tennant Creek and facing and overcoming physical adversity, to presenting exhibitions at the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art. This is a story that had to be told.

Cheeky Dogs: To Lake Nash and Back is a fascinating visual journey into the heart of life in rural parts of the Northern Territory. Dion’s drawings are the main focus of the book, easily carrying the reader through the narrative with just a few poignant sentences in support.

It quickly becomes obvious why his work is attracting the attention of the art world – his deceptively simple illustrations have real emotive depth and a dark honesty that challenges the reader in a powerful way.

Despite the sometimes-heavy subject matter, the overall tone of the book is a positive one. Dion’s description and drawings of the dogs at the various camps around town is heart-warming, yet told with a dark humour that is prevalent in the book, facing harsh truths with an unflinching attitude to a sometimes-cruel world.

Cheeky Dogs is a worthy addition to any Territorian’s library, if only for the beautiful drawings on show. Dion’s story so far is worthy of your time and attention, and there is much more to come.

facebook.com/toomanycheekydogs | bookshopdarwin.com.au

Win a signed copy

For your chance to win a signed copy of Cheeky Dogs: To Lake Nash and Back, email win@offtheleash.net.au and tell us your own cheeky dog story (that we can share!) Entries close Fri 30 Aug 2019 and winner notified by email. Good luck!

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