Fourth and fifth graders will enjoy the parts of this book that tell of the stray mongrel pup's coming into the family, and his conquest over a rather unwilling daddy. For the rest, the account of the family never comes alive and is much over-written. The characters are not real, the incident is dull, and loads of talk is stretched over the poor bones of Skippy. The sixteen years of Skippy's lifetime -- with the inevitable marriages, colleges, football games and what usually happens in a very average family -- are told through the sentimental eyes of the family looking at the dog. Perhaps the dog looking at the family might have helped -- but I doubt it.