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Notes from the Doghouse

by Linda Ashman & illustrated by Paul Meisel

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4027-3987-3
Publisher: Sterling

A perky brown dog named Stella is the first-person narrator in this collection of 29 humorous poems written from the canine perspective. In short, rhyming verse, the appealing dog describes her adoption at a shelter by a kind family with three children, their selection of a name and her impressions of the parents, children and other pets. Other poems focus on particular aspects of Stella’s new life, such as playing at the dog park or going to the groomer. The amusing, well-written poems are presented in a variety of formats, integrated into the illustrations on each page by the placement of the text on the wall or floor of the family’s cozy home or the sky or grass in outdoor scenes. Meisel’s illustrations bring Stella and her family to life with a bright palette of cheerful colors and a cast of characters that have real personality. The proficient design is also integral to the success of the book, with a clever cover illustration and a typeface that echoes a child’s printing style. Poetry collections about pets are as common as fleas on a dog, but Stella’s poetic narrative is one bark above the rest. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)