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Adventures of Stanford and Samantha


A bubbly chronicle of canine-centered events that will appeal most to children who love puppies and like-minded adult dog...

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

A debut kids’ chapter book about a dog-loving couple’s real-life search for the perfect pup.

Author Dory’s affection for Stanford and Samantha, her pair of chocolate Labradors, is clear from the start. In her dedication, she credits the canines with teaching her “how deep love for a pet can be.” The story is told in the third person, but photographs throughout make it clear that it’s Dory’s personal account of how she and her husband agreed that it was time “to fill the house with more noise” and get a dog. Soon, one dog became two. This first book in a planned series is written with cheerful energy and establishes the image of a strong family unit; Dory includes her grown son in the story with unmistakable pride. The tale is dominated by “Papa’s and Mama’s” search for the right breeders and dogs to fit the couple’s lifestyle. (The book advises caution in finding a breeder, but it’s disappointing that no mention is made of rescue organizations as a possible resource.) The couple prepares “as if the puppies were newborns coming home from the hospital….Lots of sleepless nights, laughter, frustration, extra patience, hugs and kisses, and more were ahead for the new parents.” There’s quite a bit of prose in that vein, and only readers who adore dogs with the same fervor are likely to find it altogether palatable. That said, the author’s spirit is infectious, and she has an engaging way with scene-setting, particularly during the couple’s road trips: “They were all ready for the adventure—city folks heading to the mountain valley and forest of Virginia in Shenandoah County with their GPS.” After a long car ride home, the two Lab puppies—“cuddly, energetic, naughty bad boy” Stanford and “independent, lovable little” Samantha—are welcomed into their new family.

A bubbly chronicle of canine-centered events that will appeal most to children who love puppies and like-minded adult dog owners.

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-64488-1

Page Count: 44

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2016


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007


The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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