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

CHOOSING 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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MORNING GIRL

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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The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.).

POPPY

From the Poppy series , Vol. 3

An adolescent mouse named Poppy is off on a romantic tryst with her rebel boyfriend when they are attacked by Mr. Ocax, the owl who rules over the area.

He kills the boyfriend, but Poppy escapes and Mr. Ocax vows to catch her. Mr. Ocax has convinced all the mice that he is their protector when, in fact, he preys on them mercilessly. When the mice ask his permission to move to a new house, he refuses, blaming Poppy for his decision. Poppy suspects that there is another reason Mr. Ocax doesn't want them to move and investigates to clear her name. With the help of a prickly old porcupine and her quick wits, Poppy defeats her nemesis and her own fears, saving her family in the bargain. 

The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.). (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-531-09483-9

Page Count: 147

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

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