Owners of goldendoodles, Maryland residents and families with runners will find this story touching.

READ REVIEW

DOZER'S RUN

A TRUE STORY OF A DOG AND HIS RACE

In this true story, a goldendoodle named Dozer runs away from home and then runs a half marathon, becoming a celebrated canine mascot and fundraiser for cancer in the process.

Dozer is outside in his own rural yard in Highland, Md., when runners from the Maryland Half Marathon begin running by. The spunky dog joins the group of 2,000 runners, continuing on for almost the entire 13-mile race. His family has no idea he left to join the race, and he is gone for 24 hours before finally limping home. Within a few days, race officials track him down and present Dozer with a marathon medal. An author’s note explains that Dozer was filmed crossing the finish line with the other runners, leading to hundreds of pledges in his name that raised $25,000 for a cancer center in Maryland. The text of the story is rather wordy but also amusing, with emphasis on all the smells that entice Dozer along on his run. Soft-focus illustrations add humor with anthropomorphic expressions on Dozer’s face and realistic views of marathon runners in action. The intriguing nature of Dozer’s celebrity and effectiveness as a fundraiser for the cancer center is conveyed through the author’s note rather than through the story and illustrations, but Dozer is a charmer nonetheless.

Owners of goldendoodles, Maryland residents and families with runners will find this story touching. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58536-896-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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