EVERYTHING DOG

WHAT KIDS REALLY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT DOGS

Crisp (Totally Polar, 2001, etc.) offers a crisply written collection of canine trivia that will intrigue young readers who like to learn odd facts about favorite animals. A question in large type at the top of each page or spread is followed by a chatty answer, informally conveying information on dog—including canine anatomy, behavior, and history. Some questions are obvious choices, (“Why do dogs like people?” and “Why do dogs have cold, wet noses?”) while others are more thoughtful, (“Can dogs recognize other people in your family by their smell?” or “Can dogs see what people see?”). The volume’s jazzy design utilizes some creative concepts that add touches of color throughout, with the introduction and resource pages printed on bright yellow or red backgrounds. Both full-color and black-and-white photographs are used, including shots of dogs with children and with adult owners. Unfortunately the quality of the photographs is not uniform throughout, particularly in the black and white shots, and most regrettably in an unnecessarily unattractive photograph of the author on the final page. A minor drawback—this first entry in the Kids’ FAQs series will be useful for both recreational reading and school reports on man’s (and many a kid’s) best friend. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-55971-839-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: NorthWord

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2003

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Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to...

ESCAPE FROM BAXTERS' BARN

A group of talking farm animals catches wind of the farm owner’s intention to burn the barn (with them in it) for insurance money and hatches a plan to flee.

Bond begins briskly—within the first 10 pages, barn cat Burdock has overheard Dewey Baxter’s nefarious plan, and by Page 17, all of the farm animals have been introduced and Burdock is sharing the terrifying news. Grady, Dewey’s (ever-so-slightly) more principled brother, refuses to go along, but instead of standing his ground, he simply disappears. This leaves the animals to fend for themselves. They do so by relying on their individual strengths and one another. Their talents and personalities match their species, bringing an element of realism to balance the fantasy elements. However, nothing can truly compensate for the bland horror of the premise. Not the growing sense of family among the animals, the serendipitous intervention of an unknown inhabitant of the barn, nor the convenient discovery of an alternate home. Meanwhile, Bond’s black-and-white drawings, justly compared to those of Garth Williams, amplify the sense of dissonance. Charming vignettes and single- and double-page illustrations create a pastoral world into which the threat of large-scale violence comes as a shock.

Ironically, by choosing such a dramatic catalyst, the author weakens the adventure’s impact overall and leaves readers to ponder the awkward coincidences that propel the plot. (Animal fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-33217-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS

This is rather a silly story, and I don't believe children will think it particularly funny. A paper hanger and painter finds time on his hands in winter, and spends it in reading of arctic exploration. It is all given reality when he receives a present of a penguin, which makes its nest in the refrigerator on cubes of ice, mates with a lonely penguin from the zoo, and produces a family of penguins which help set the Poppers on their feet.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1938

ISBN: 978-0-316-05843-8

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1938

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