A charming addition to the charismatic pup’s ranch adventures.

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TALES OF A TAILLESS DOG NAMED SAGEBRUSH

SAGEBRUSH MEETS THE SHUNS

From the Corky Tails series

A young dog discovers the impact of deforestation on the local wildlife in this second installment of a series.

One morning, when Sagebrush wakes to do her chores, she becomes enchanted by the spring air and wanders into the woods, past the white ranch owner who cares for her. The corgi treks farther than she should and encounters the Shuns, tiny woodland folks who look after the forest. The Shuns don’t trust humans, who cut down their trees. Sagebrush can’t understand how her mistress could be so good and other people so bad. But soon she sees the damage the loggers have done to the forest. The next day, when they return, Sagebrush dashes up the mountain to rescue the Shuns. In this text-heavy picture book, Franks (Corky Tails: Tales of a Tailless Dog Named Sagebrush, 2016) presents the environmental angle fairly, mentioning that humans use wood for things they need—paper, homes, furniture. But she also shows characters feeling helpless at the thought of stopping industry. Budding ecologists are likely to press this issue in conversations with parents or teachers: why can’t something be done to save the forest? Why wouldn’t humans want to replant the trees? Rodriguez (A Kingdom’s Story, 2017, etc.) creates superb facial expressions for Sagebrush in the delightful cartoon illustrations; the work could use even more images. Her depiction of the two Shuns reveals just the type of heroes any kid would like to find in the backyard.

A charming addition to the charismatic pup’s ranch adventures.

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5434-2799-8

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2017

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

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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

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THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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