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OLD DOG by Jeanne Willis


by Jeanne Willis & illustrated by Tony Ross

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-84270-697-8
Publisher: Andersen/Trafalgar

Does Grandpa need new tricks to get the attention of canine whippersnappers? Three Young Pups whine, whimper and snort in protest when their mother wants them to visit Grandpa. He scratches, he’s boring and he has dog breath. Mother reminds them of Grandpa’s kind heart, but at his house, when Grandpa starts to tell stories of his youth, the kids tune out; seeing their disinterest, Grandpa wanders away disconsolately. Not long after, Grandpa reappears in a bright circus costume and dazzles the Pups with a series of daring deeds: juggling and balancing on a two-wheeler and even getting shot out of a cannon. As he flies through the air, a buoyant Grandpa declares, “There’s life in the old dog yet!”—and now the kids can’t get enough of his yarns. Ross’s pictures add several sly jokes—Grandpa trying to play Twister is priceless. A clever design touch has two page spreads of photos from Grandpa’s album on inside covers; those in the front are black-and-white, and those in the back in full color. Great message about mutual respect, crisply told.  (Picture book. 3-6)