A bumpy, plot-driven ride that moves along at a brisk pace, enthusiastically catapulting toward a potentially disastrous and...

READ REVIEW

SHOWOFF

From the Swindle series , Vol. 4

Intrepid man-with-a-plan Griffin is up to his old tricks in his fourth outing, accompanied by a cast of patient middle-school best friends, all on a mission to save an overly energetic dog.

After Savannah’s gigantic Doberman, Luthor, inexplicably trashes a public appearance by show dog Electra, resulting in an unfortunate tail injury to the valuable beagle, Electra’s owner sues her family and she’s forced to relinquish her beloved pet to the animal shelter. Classmates Griffin and Ben bring the dog home, which is not too difficult since Griffin’s parents are touring Europe, trying to sell a quirky new invention. All the boys need to do is hide Luthor in Griffin’s garage, train him, win a dog show championship and then turn the money that will pour in afterward over to Electra’s owner. If this scheme sounds highly improbable, well, that’s half the fun. Eventually, they end up at the world’s grandest dog show, with Luthor competing for the championship—if only they can thwart the wily criminal who’s trying to upset their efforts. This tale stands alone well, with marginal character development taking second place to the narrative’s nearly believable twists and turns. Ample dog-show details will appeal to pet enthusiasts. 

A bumpy, plot-driven ride that moves along at a brisk pace, enthusiastically catapulting toward a potentially disastrous and hilarious conclusion. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32059-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

Did you like this book?

more