About David Melling
David Melling is the creator of the tiger tales book Hugless Douglas. David says, "I have done other jobs over the years, teaching English in Italy, cutting grass in a cemetery, even wrapping up toilet paper rolls for a week (don't ask), but making up stories with pen and paper is bay far the best."
When bumbling Douglas wrecks a gift, what can he do?
Dad gives Douglas, a big brown bear, a woolly hat. He can't wait to show his friends. As he's rushing out the door, Dad calls out, "Take care of it." There is a flock of sheep incongruously lazing on a tree branch; they think the hat is "snazzy." (Melling's sheep, who resemble little brown dogs wearing tan hooded sweatshirts, appear randomly throughout, as page fillers.) Douglas dances all around and cartwheels with excitement, blithely unaware that his hat has become snagged on a tree. When he stops, all that remains is a thin band around his head and a long string of spaghetti crisscrossing several branches. It's ruined! The other animals pitch in to help. The sheep try to reshape the string on Douglas's head, and the wise cow fashions it into a headband (though a grabby bird snatches it temporarily for her nest). Douglas becomes more and more distraught. Then it starts to rain. It's rabbit who takes time to wipe Douglas's nose and set him straight: "Dad will understand," he says. And of course when Douglas tells Dad, he does. He even gives Douglas his own hat to wear. Bonus: a two-page spread of sheep and rabbit goofily modeling a bunch of different hats.
Simple and sweet, with a winning streak of silly.
August, 15 2011, Kirkus Reviews
Library Discoveries: Don't Worry, Douglas!
There are so many incredible children’s books out there to share with our kiddos – so many that there are often spectacular gems that are overlooked or simply never discovered. It’s impossible to look at every book, isn’t it? So come along with the Library Discoveries series as I share with you the books my daughter and I uncover at the library that are worth checking out and will quite probably be recommended additions for the home library.
Our first discovery goes by the name of Don’t Worry, Douglas!, written and illustrated by David Melling. This giggle-inducing book was found at the Laurel Public Library and will be a definite addition to our home library this Christmas.
Don’t Worry, Douglas! tells the tale of a young bear – Douglas – who is gifted his first ever wooly hat. His dad cautions him to take care of the hat, but in his excitement to show off his hat to his friends accidentally finds himself coming undone.
As he exuberantly turns cartwheels, it catches on a branch, causing the hat to quickly become unraveled. Feeling terribly sorry for him, his sheep friends immediately try to help Douglas fix his hat, turning next to Cow who is “a good thinker,” and on and on until an increasingly forlorn Douglas happens upon a rabbit with the right idea.
“Why don’t you just tell him what happened? He’s nice, your dad. He’ll understand.”
The moral of the story is, of course, that it might take a big bear to tell the truth, but everything will be alright if you’re honest.
The illustrations are utterly adorable, the story itself flows easily with some fun, learning words included along the way. My daughter particularly enjoys the “gasp” and when I’ve demonstrated what it means when Douglas “trudged back home.”
The illustrations are a great part of what makes this book with its lovely message still wonderfully giggle-y. Your young reader is sure to love the final page of illustrations, which have the sheep and rabbit wearing all sorts of silly hats. Favorites in our house: the Diaper Hat, Pants Hat, Weather Hat, and Potty Hat. Oh, the giggles!
November 14, 2011, Simply Becca, simplyfamilymagazine.com
Douglas the lovable bear returns. This time he receives a special wool hat from his father. He runs outside to show his friends and, in his excitement, it unravels. The sheep wind the yarn into a ball and try to reshape it, but it looks ungainly. Cow uses her fashion style, to no avail. Bird tries to make a nest out of it, but that doesn't fly. When it begins to rain, Rabbit attempts to plug up his burrow with it. Finally, Douglas decides to be honest and tell his father what happened. Dad understands and saves the day by giving his own big green hat to Douglas, which he will soon grow into. The final spread shows the sheep and the rabbit modeling various humorous chapeaus: the Best Friends Hat, the Weather Hat, and so forth. Bright illustrations in bold colors reflect Douglas's moods. For example, in one spread he looks appropriately bewildered, surrounded by the sheep, when they realize that yards of wool are strung throughout the trees and branches like spaghetti. When a sheepish Douglas shows up at home holding the ball of wool, his parents maintain a quiet look of surprise—the kind that doesn't make their cub feel worse about his mishap. Melling successfully communicates the theme of honesty with compassion. Well done. —Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY.
November 2011, School Library Journal
I fell in love with Douglas when I read the touching story titled, Hugless Douglas. Now David Melling is back with another Douglas story that will warm your heart and make you laugh. Don’t Worry, Douglas! is a beautiful book that teaches children the importance of telling the truth. What Melling does so well in this book is capture the feelings children go through when something has gone wrong and they must approach their parents. The book is filled with some well-meaning and some not so selfless friends, which is true of the environment in which children grow up in today.