PIPPER'S SECRET INGREDIENT by Jane Murphy

PIPPER'S SECRET INGREDIENT

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this fast-paced, engaging kids’ book, a dog scours the world for the ingredients to the perfect biscuit, while an evil biscuit company is hot on her heels.

The first book of the Snoutz Adventure series tells the story of Pipper, a puppy and food blogger seeking her next great adventure and scoop. While hanging out with her pals—Sophie, a librarian; Sidney, a mail carrier and aspiring rock star; firefighter Hilda; designer–inventor Archibald and personal trainer Chance—the dogs help her realize that she should track down the secret ingredient for a perfect dog biscuit. Meanwhile, the leading dog biscuit manufacturer, Bogus Biscuits, has been cutting costs and producing biscuits that are making everyone sick. When Bull Bogus catches wind of Pipper’s quest, he sends Bumbles Brug to tail her and determine the secret to the perfect biscuit so he can steal it and use the recipe to save his failing company. Pipper travels around the world, visiting the pyramids in Egypt for inspiration on the perfect design, trailing a vivacious dog in France who teaches her about the beauty of ginger and other ingredients, and venturing into other countries where she picks up tips from locals. Pipper’s friends at home discover that she’s being tailed, so they alert her and then infiltrate Bogus Biscuits in a plan to get their products off the market. Murphy and Fingerhuth do an excellent job creating tension, which keeps the reader wondering whether Bumbles will derail the investigation. The book effectively presents the world of contemporary technology: Each chapter includes a blog posting by Pipper, including comments that readers have left, and the characters use cellphones to message each other. In addition to Sharp’s rich, colorful illustrations, the authors offer a glimpse of foreign cultures—Pipper learns phrases from each country, she eats local dishes, sees iconic buildings and mentions major cultural attractions—which amount to a great overview of countries most kids have never visited. There’s also a crash course in healthy nutrition, featuring recipes for salads and other foods (including dog treats).

An educational tool that’s well-disguised as a compelling, fun read, excellent for kids interested in dogs, food and travel.

Pub Date: March 30th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0615388083
Page count: 145pp
Publisher: Mutt Media
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2012




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