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

Adventures of Stanford and Samantha


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

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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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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Like the quiet lap of waves on the sand, the alternating introspections of two Bahamian island children in 1492. Morning Girl and her brother Star Boy are very different: she loves the hush of pre-dawn while he revels in night skies, noise, wind. In many ways they are antagonists, each too young and subjective to understand the other's perspective—in contrast to their mother's appreciation for her brother. In the course of these taut chapters concerning such pivotal events as their mother's losing a child, the arrival of a hurricane, or Star Boy's earning the right to his adult name, they grow closer. In the last, Morning Girl greets— with cordial innocence—a boat full of visitors, unaware that her beautifully balanced and textured life is about to be catalogued as ``very poor in everything,'' her island conquered by Europeans. This paradise is so intensely and believably imagined that the epilogue, quoted from Columbus's diary, sickens with its ominous significance. Subtly, Dorris draws parallels between the timeless chafings of sibs set on changing each other's temperaments and the intrusions of states questing new territory. Saddening, compelling—a novel to be cherished for its compassion and humanity. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1992

ISBN: 1-56282-284-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992

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