In this latest entry in their series using food as modeling material, Freymann and Elffers (Gus and Button, 2001, etc.) turn their talents for clever puns, both visual and verbal, to the world of dogs. The cover photo shows an appealing dachshund made from bananas, with curved pieces of peel hanging down as the dog’s ears and the tiny black banana end serving nicely as the dog’s nose. There are good dogs made of lettuce, potatoes, artichokes, and cauliflower, a bad dog made of green pepper who knocks over a lamp, and then it’s on to the punny dogs: a hot dog who has burned his seat on a flame-shaped peach, a shivering chilly dog next to a mushroom snowman, and on and on. Every possible dog-themed expression is included (top dog, underdog, lucky dog, pup tent, and many more), with all the dogs and their appropriate gear created from food items. (A list of all the foods used is included on the back cover.) The dogs are attractively photographed on different brightly colored backgrounds with each dog expression in large, contrasting type that is slightly askew, as though each letter was hand-stamped. At first, this volume might seem to have a limited audience of younger children, but it could well serve as an easy reader for students of all ages (including adults), as a pun-filled treat for young gifted students, and as a thoughtful gift to cheer up any dog lover. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-439-11016-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007


A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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