Although the information presented is of high interest and accurate, some more scientifically minded readers may be put off...

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SWEET SENIOR PUPS

From the True Tales of Rescue series

First in a pseudo-nonfiction series about animal sanctuaries is the tale of a rescue facility for elderly dogs in Maryland.

At Senior Dog Sanctuary of Maryland, older, homeless dogs are rescued, assisted to recover their health, and then, if possible, rehabilitated enough to be placed in foster, “fospice,” or forever homes to live out the remainder of their lives. (A fospice is a foster hospice setting.) The story of the sanctuary is related by a few of its residents: Dogs with varying degrees of disability describe their often tragic backgrounds, their lives at the facility and at new homes, and in one case death (“Well, here I finally am at the Rainbow Bridge”). Much of the text is set in a generous font and is relatively easy to read, but some pages that emulate Facebook feeds feature very small text and more challenging vocabulary. There are numerous photos of the always charming dogs (even when clad in cheesy costumes). Extensive backmatter includes recipes for treats for elderly animals as well as suggestions for items that sanctuaries may need to have donated. Publishing simultaneously, Welcome Wombat features the same animal-narrator format but lacks the screenshots and costumed animals. It provides detailed information about a wombat-rescue facility in Australia.

Although the information presented is of high interest and accurate, some more scientifically minded readers may be put off by the use of animal voices. (Nonfiction/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-76703-5

Page Count: 144

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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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 three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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