ONE SMALL DOG by Johanna Hurwitz


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Age Range: 7 - 9
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Hurwitz’s (Make Room For Elisa, 1993) account of the failure of an untrained pound puppy to fit into a stressed household is a cautionary tale of how not to adopt a dog. Mom and Dad split at Christmas. Mom, Curtis, and preschooler Mitch take a smaller apartment; Dad gets an apartment downtown; Curtis nags for a dog; Mom caves; disasters ensue. Without carefully considering all of the implications of bringing an untrained, good-sized dog into their small apartment, the family endures everything a dog can do, including chewing up shoes. Sammy gets his head stuck in a milk can because he’s found food in it (he’s hungrier than they realize); he barks constantly in Dad’s apartment, where he is not allowed to be; and finally, he bites Mitch and then Curtis. Little lessons along the way prepare the reader for the inevitable: Sammy must go. “Important steps should take more time, more thought.” Hurwitz’s light hand make the lessons go down easily, and an afterword by a professional dog trainer reinforces what kids should know about adopting and training a dog. Serviceable. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-17382-9
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000


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