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THE DOGHOUSE by Jan Thomas Kirkus Star


by Jan Thomas & illustrated by Jan Thomas

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-15-206533-1
Publisher: Harcourt

The third time continues the charm for Thomas’s latest offering featuring her familiar animal buddies (A Birthday for Cow, 2008). When Cow’s energetic kick sends the ball out of reach of Pig, Duck and Mouse, the toy lands in unknown terrority: the doghouse. Mouse cajoles each animal in turn to venture into the daunting canine quarters to reclaim the ball; much to Mouse’s dismay, however, none of them returns. When Mouse timidly asks if Duck may leave the doghouse, he meets the house’s toothy resident, who refuses to grant the rodent’s request. Bold cartoon illustrations provide an inside glimpse into Dog’s living space, the setting for a surprising reunion for these friends and their ball. The successful use of repetition, realized through succinct sentences (rendered in speech balloons) and solid colors, maintains the material’s superb pacing. Slanted lines and masterful use of the frame capture the shifting moods and actions of the characters, perfectly placed on each page. Thomas’s entertaining story and spirited illustrations kick this one right out of the park. (Picture book. 3-6)