Tell Tail


An allegorical tale about the importance of self-expression.


ISBN: 9781908714862 Category:

C K Smouha, Katie Brosnan


‘Distinctive illustrations accompany this thought-provoking tale about the importance of self-expression, which could be used to explore the concepts of emotional intelligence, diversity and acceptance with young children. — Book Trust

The illustrations bring these colourful characters to life, especially in the depiction of Bailey and his amazing tail.’ — Reading Zone

Dex is a Staffie with an unruly tail. All the other members of Dex’s family are tough as nails, but Dex is cut from a different cloth. He likes to chat and play, and when he does, his tail wags wildly. When he’s sad, his tail tucks under. Everyone can see exactly how he’s feeling. The rest of Dex’s family find it very embarrassing, so Dex tries to rein his tail in – to no avail.

One day at the park, Dex is doing his best to control his tail when a big red dog called Bailey bounds up to him. Bailey has the waggiest, most ridiculous tail Dex has ever seen. They have a marvellous time playing, until Dex catches sight of his dad’s disapproving face.

Dex runs and runs and runs, until he stops caring – about his tail – about anything. When Dad finds him, his tail is completely still. It doesn’t wag, it doesn’t tuck under. It’s just there. After a couple weeks, Dad starts to feel uncomfortable. What could be wrong with Dex? Dad and Dex go back to the park, where with the help of Bailey, they rediscover the joys of self expression.

Additional information

Weight 529 g
Dimensions 28.7 x 24.7 cm
Publisher name Cicada Books Ltd
Publication date 19 February 2021
Number of pages 32
Format Hardback
Dimensions 28.7 x 24.7 cm
Weight 529 g


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Katie Brosnan is a graduate of the Cambridge MA in children's book illustration. She is the author of Keith Amongst the Pigeons (Child's Play) and Gut Garden (Cicada)

C K Smouha is the author of Born Bad, Sock Story and Iced Out (Cicada).