A sweet tale in Sashi’s series that should appeal to dog lovers.


Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl

From the Sashi series , Vol. 3

Sashi, the formerly shy sheltie, returns in this third illustrated adventure, tackling the issue of puppy mills.

In Greiner (Sashi Adopts a Brother, 2015) and Spicer’s latest installment, Sashi is one of two dogs living permanently with a family—a mother and daughter—that fosters Shetland sheepdogs until they finally can be adopted. Sashi welcomes the arrival of new dogs, but when Cinnamon appears, she knows this canine is different. Burdened by a dirty and unkempt coat, the poor dog exhibits fright and suspicion. As Sashi’s humans explain, Cinnamon came from a puppy mill, where she was never given enough food and water and never showered with affection. Cinnamon lived in a cage, making puppies rather than serving as a beloved pet. Her new caretakers are determined to help Cinnamon heal, and Sashi likes the small dog right away. Sashi’s brother Buddy also forges a friendship with Cinnamon quickly, and the two dogs teach their new pal how to behave in a family, while the humans offer her treats, care, and comfort. Cinnamon learns to love cavorting outdoors—something she’s never experienced before—and after some time in her new home, she starts to play with Sashi and Buddy. The two family shelties show Cinnamon how to receive goodies from their humans, and she learns that the caretakers will give her delicious food as well as attention (including petting). The humans and family shelties help train Cinnamon until another clan with dogs comes to visit. After several meetings, the new family welcomes Cinnamon into its home, where she can be loved forever. Though the idea of puppy mills can be a scary, threatening concept for young readers, Greiner and Spicer present that dark place with just the right amount of tension, not dwelling on it but not shying away from the reasons Cinnamon has trouble trusting people. As usual, Spicer captures the personality of the dogs in her charming illustrations beautifully, and readers are likely to fall in love with the dogs as much as the human characters do. Greiner’s notes about choosing the right kind of dog for a household are important for parents discussing pets with children.

A sweet tale in Sashi’s series that should appeal to dog lovers.

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016


Page Count: 40

Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

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Like an ocean-going “Lion and the Mouse,” a humpback whale and a snail “with an itchy foot” help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive “Ride wanted around the world,” scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: “SAVE THE WHALE.” Donaldson’s rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like “The house that Jack built”—“This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, ‘HOORAY!’ / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . .” Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler’s snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape—and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale’s tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-8037-2922-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2004

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